June 24, 2024

While Jesus was speaking to the crowd, His mother and His brothers asked to speak with Him.
Someone told Him, “Your mother and our brothers are standing outside asking to speak with You.” But He said to the one who told Him, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.” (Matthew 12:46-50)
We ponder on this gospel reading to deepen our understanding on family and faith.
If we are to put the answer of Jesus in our level of understanding, we see it as denying his mother and brothers. It was a wrong answer. He could have said, “Wow! My family is waiting for me, let them in and give them some food and coffee.” Jesus answered differently. He answered with a question that seemed to disclaim them, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?”
Jesus was not denying his family. He was helping people transcend their understanding about our biological families to our being a family of God. It is not enough to be a biological family. We must become a Christian family hence we see the relevance and essence of the sacraments, especially baptism, Holy Eucharist, and Holy Matrimony. A family must become a Christian family to mean the couple surrendered their relationship to God through the sacrament of the Holy Matrimony. The family listens to the word of God and incarnate them in life.
If we have Christian families together then we expect a Christian community. “For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.” (Matthew 12:50)
Jesus confidently declared his brothers and mother as those listening to his words and putting them into practice.
What then is being just? Being just means listening to the word of God and doing it in life. Jesus beautifully defined just with listening to the Word, putting them into practice, doing the will of his Father.
Justice, therefore, means doing what is due and giving what is due to oneself, to one’s neighbor, and to God.
We don’t struggle and strive for a just or holy life to despise others, but to correct the obvious errors of our community and to encourage one another to live a just life. If we all live a just life we are actually overcoming the unjust realities of the world. We work for justice and we overcome the injustice of the here and now.
Jesus made use of parables to answer the queries of people. He did not answer yes or no. He answered and explained through parables. “This is why I speak to them in parables, because they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand.” (Matthew 13:17)
Jesus narrated another parable to the crowd, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off. When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well.” (Matthew 13:24)
It is a reality when we are confronted by problems, frustrations, confusions, and evil deeds. If we don’t experience these, we are not living in the reality of here and now. It is reality when people will dislike us for our good deeds and just life. But it is our big consolation because God will be pleased and he will be the one to bless us and exalt us. He will surely judge us according to his justice. God is not a punishing God but a god of justice who will give what each of us deserve.
“The son of man will send his angels and they will collect out of his kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. The righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their father. Whoever has ears ought to hear.” (Matthew 13:43)
Judgment belongs to God. We don’t have any right to judge and condemn people but we are morally obligated to judge and condemn the evil and evil deeds of the world. Jesus is the fullness of God’s justice and yet he is our savior. For the name Jesus means, God saves. Let us participate spreading justice in the world by living a just life and spreading justice.
Last July 18, I received a disturbing text message: “Good morning apo. Damagek man nu nabasam diay insend ko Messenger mo about diay P320 million loan of Paracelis, which we are questioning because it’s a huge money. We made a petition requesting the administration for public hearing for this loan kaso saanda met pinatgan. We made another petition hopefully umanogutda nga i-public hearing. The reason why we request for such is for the people to be informed about this loan and for transparency and good governance. Nu mabalin kuma mainews apo tano tumulong ti kakailyan. Yaman.”
We need really to look into this serious social, political, and moral issues of Paracelis. Let justice reign. Just, justice, judgment, and Jesus are topics that can fit well in our families and communities.
Reach me at [email protected] or at 0905-165-3669.