HOMILY FOR THE MEMORIAL OF ST. FRANSCIS DE SALES BISHOP AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH.
THEME: Who are my mother and my brothers? Those that do the will of God.
BY: Fr. Diotacious Chikontwe SMA.
*READINGS OF THE DAY*
In this morning’s gospel reading, Jesus seems to distance himself from his family of origin. While Jesus is teaching in a house, one of the crowd informs him that his mother and brothers are outside the house wanting to speak to him. Jesus declares that he now has a new family, the family of those seated around him, the family of his disciples, the family of those who do the will of God as proclaimed and lived by Jesus. It must have been difficult for Jesus’ mother to come to terms with this new reality. Jesus no longer belonged to her or the rest of her family. Jesus now belonged to a much larger family that was not defined by blood but by its relationship to him and to the God whom he proclaimed. This family soon came to be called the church and we are all members of that family today.
*WHAT DO WE LEARN FROM THE GOSPEL OF TODAY?*
There are two things we should learn from this gospel passage which is about Jesus and His Family:
First, we belong to the family of God by doing His will. Jesus says: “Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.Here Jesus truly emphasizes that spiritual relationship is superior than family ties especially that sometimes our family do not understand us when we serve God.
We have to do God’s will and nothing else counts.
Second, Mary is the model of doing the will of God for us mere mortals. Our Blessed Mother did not pride her privileged place in the history of salvation. On the contrary, Mary was the handmaid of the Lord. She listened very attentively God’s word, meditated upon it and when the angel said it to her she answered: “Yes” to God’s plan of salvation and acted on it when given the opportunity. God’s will was the most important one in her life. She knew that her life had no meaning outside God’s will.
Through baptism we have been initiated into that family, becoming sons and daughters of God, brothers and sisters of Jesus and, as one family, people who look to Mary as our mother. We are, in many ways, shaped by our family of origin, but, more fundamentally, we are shaped by this ecclesial family to which we belong. It is there that we encounter Jesus, the Lord, in word, in sacrament and in each other; it is there that we imbibe his values and receive his Spirit.
Happy feast of St Francis de Sales.. St Francis pray for us.
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