Daily Reflection for Tuesday January 26, 2021
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to read and reflect on Tuesday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: 2 Timothy 1:1-8 or Titus 1:1-5
Responsorial: Psalm 96:1-3, 7-8a, 10
Gospel: Mark 3:31-35
Our reflection on Tuesday's readings:
Today's scripture readings come to mind in quiet moments. St. Paul's letter and Jesus' description of family are barbs in my conscience: would my behavior lead St. Paul to find me sincere in my faith? Would Jesus recognize me as "brother" based on how I follow God’s will?
I don't think it's enough to have strong doctrinal beliefs, devout practices, and to avoid sin. I think Jesus chose his actions and words precisely to give us an example when he said ,"Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother." (Mark 3:35). He was emphasizing the importance of community and the relationships he wants us to share. He was telling us to treat each other as close family members . . . indeed as members of Jesus' own family.
The relationship of God and Jesus is not boss and employee, nor king and servant. God called Jesus his beloved son. Jesus spoke of God as Father, and told us to call God "Abba" (Father). That makes me a part of God's family . . . a family so diverse that it welcomes people from every corner of the Earth. Jesus' focus on whoever does God's will highlights the basic mission that unifies us rather than the differences that can divide us. Jesus' use of familial relationships clearly tells us that doing God's will can bond us to each other in an essential way, much like the love that bonds families. I've found that people who treat each other like close family can sense that which is within each other's heart. Being a member of God's family means empathizing with others . . . and allowing empathy and understanding to morph into love.
I recall a video that captured this. Jean Vanier, a Catholic philosopher and founder of L'Arche communities where developmentally disabled people and their caregivers share life together, said, “Let us rethink a new vision for our world, based on every human person as important. And that means we will have to change. We will move from a world of competition where we want to appear as the rich and powerful one . . . to where we can become the cooperative one, the understanding one, the listening one, so that we can build something together.
As we struggle through this pandemic, I wonder what the world will be like on the other side of this plague. Will we be able to take Jesus' words to heart, to become his brother/sister by learning to cooperate, to listen, to work together, to watch out for one another, and to treat each other as his beloved family? It will require thoughtfulness, desire, and commitment.
Peace, my friends . . . my sisters and brothers,