This past weekend I was able to gather with members of my family as we attended the wedding of one of my nephews. We met his new wife's family for the first time and had a great time just relaxing and being with one another. Families are usually messy, loud, diverse and great! In today's Gospel (Matthew 12: 46-50), Jesus speaks of His own family. Rather than speaking about Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth, Zachary, John or any of the others who were "related" to Him, He tells the crowds that "whoever does the will of my heavenly Father" is family. How cool is that?!
As often as we may brag about a child, sibling, grandchild, parent, etc. who has accomplished something amazing, we tend to forget that our Brother is the Savior of the world! The key here is that, in order to make this claim, we have to be doing the will of the Father. And this is where it gets a little tricky. Because Jesus does not say that we simply have to "accept" the will of the Father passively. No, He tells us that we have to DO the will of the Father. This is an active, thoughtful, deliberate thing on our part. It also implies that we have to be in communication with God in order to understand what His will is for us in the various circumstances and situations in our life. It is especially important when it comes to how we deal with people, since the way we treat them reflect our relationship with God.
Doing the will of the Father is a huge challenge, since we tend to rely on instinct sometimes which can lean more toward selfishness rather than putting the other first. No, the will of the Father is to be the first to love, to love our enemies and, perhaps even more difficult, love those who are indifferent to us. The question, therefore, is not "what is your will for me today, God?". No, the real question, asked frequently throughout the day, is "What is your will for me now, God?". And the more I ask that question and try to follow where it leads, the more I will live the reality that, after all, Jesus you and I are family.