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Live in Love
Tuesday in the Sixteenth Week of Ordinary Time
While he was still speaking to the crowds, his mother and his brothers appeared outside, wishing to speak with him. [Someone told him, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, asking to speak with you.”] But he said in reply 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.”
Opening Prayer: O my God, you are our Heavenly Father. Jesus, you are my brother. Mary, you are my mother. Help me to see all the baptized as truly my brothers and sisters.
- Family in Christ: God is our Heavenly Father. When we view ourselves as children of God, we realize that all the baptized are his sons and daughters, and therefore our brothers and sisters. Through baptism, we have become “members of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19). We share a family name: Christian. As part of this family, we are called to do God’s will and “love each other like brothers and sisters” (Romans 12:10).
- Walk in the Light: Living in love with our Christian brothers and sisters can be challenging. How are we to foster this familial bond? St. John tells us: “… if we walk in the light as he is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another” (1 John 1:7). We walk in the light when we seek to live according to the truths that Christ has taught us. When we live our lives saturated by truth and goodness according to the Gospel, fellowship comes more naturally and there is less division among us.
- Mass, the Family Meal: Each Sunday we come together for Mass, our family meal. We hear our stories proclaimed in the Scriptures. We pray together and sing our family songs. In the Confiteor, we confess to and ask God and our brothers and sisters to pray for us: “I confess to almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned…” When we pray The Lord’s Prayer, we affirm that we are children of God: “Our Father, who art in heaven…” Finally, we share the bread of life, our Communion with God and with one another: The Holy Eucharist. Christ feeds us himself and we become “one body and one Spirit” in him (Ephesians 4:4).
Conversing with Christ: Dear Jesus, I see you stretching your hands out to my fellow Christians, claiming them as your family and mine. Help me to work alongside my brothers and sisters to build up your Church. Send your Spirit of unity to heal any hurts that exist in my family or parish. Please give me the virtues of meekness and charity so that I can live in love with my Christian family.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will consider if I need to forgive or ask for forgiveness of any of my brothers or sisters so that we can live in love.
For Further Reflection: Take fifteen minutes and read the Book of Ephesians, in which St. Paul encourages the Christians of Ephesus to live in love as brothers and sisters in Christ. Throughout the epistle, he includes very practical advice for how to live in communion with one another. “So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma” (Ephesians 5:1).
Written by Carey Boyzuck.