The mother of Jesus and his brothers came to him but were unable to join him because of the crowd. He was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside and they wish to see you.” He said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.” (Luke 8:19-21)
In today’s Gospel, Jesus points out a distinction between our worldly relationships and our eternal relationships. While our family and friends on earth are important, as we must love our neighbor as ourselves, there is an everlasting family within the context of our status as adopted children of God. We are attached to our family on earth, but we are also told that we must not be attached to things of this world. This means that, although you should love those who are part of your human family on earth, your eternal brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers are those who “...hear the word of God and act on it.” This may mean that someone you love here on earth will not be your brother in eternity, or conversely, that someone in your eternal family may be someone that you are not attached to on earth. This can be a difficult truth to realize, since we wish for those we love on earth to be with us in eternity. This, in turn, highlights the importance of sharing the Word of God with those we love on earth in order that their souls may be saved so that they are part of our eternal family.
Our unmerited adoption as children of God sets us apart from others in the world and creates a dividing line between those who will experience eternity with God and those who will not. Some of those who will not be with God in eternity may be people that we know and love. The gravity of this potential loss should give us pause to think about the importance of showing our loved ones the path to heaven through Christ, since we would like to love them in eternity and not just in time on earth. Our mothers and brothers in heaven are eternal, so those are the relationships that we must focus on. If we want to extend certain earthly familial relationships to the eternal life, such as the relationship with our children, spouses, or parents, then we must work diligently to bring them to Christ and make them part of God’s eternal family.
Copyright 2022 Jessica Tucker
This article really made me think! Thank you!