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HOW TO BE A KIN TO JESUS

Father Francis's picture
Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Micah 7:14-15, 18-20 & Mt. 12:46-50

Today's First Reading is a beautiful prayer asking God to shepherd His people. From an early period in the Old Testament era God as Shepherd was a warm and heartening image for the people. Jesus used that image for Himself, and for centuries later it still held much meaning while society continued seeing shepherds and grazing sheep.

With the Industrial Revolution and our own era of modern technology the image of shepherd has lost something of its richness because it is not within the direct experience of many of us. If Jesus were preaching today, He would probably use some other image to indicate the tenderness of His loving care for us.

A 10 year old boy was standing in front of a window of a High Street shoe shop. Barefoot and purple with cold, he was peering through the window. A lady approached and asked him why he was looking so earnestly in that window? “I was asking God to give me a pair of shoes," was the boy's reply. The lady took him into the shop and asked the assistant to get several pairs of socks for the boy and a pair of shoes. She then asked to be given a basin of water, some soap and a towel. She took the little fellow to the back part of the shop and, removing her gloves, knelt down to wash his little feet and dried them with the towel. When the assistant returned she put a pair of socks on the boy's feet and then the shoes. The remaining socks were given in a carrier bag to the boy and she paid the assistant. As she turned to go, the astonished lad caught her by the hand, and looking up in her face, with tears in his eyes, asked "Are you God's wife?"

I think this story is a wonderful demonstration of the words of Jesus. He said in effect that whoever does the will of My Father is My kin. The will of the Father is that our lives should ooze with love. This woman who had pity on the boy loved him in his hour of need.

We admire our Blessed Lady for being the mother of Jesus, giving Him a body, but we should admire her even more for doing the will of the Father when she said, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Let what you have said be done to Me." Her spiritual kinship to God is greater than her physical relationship to Jesus.

Holy Spirit, give us the grace always to do God's Will, and so to be the kin of Jesus.

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