Jesus welcomed rich and poor, men and women, children, and people of all races and religions. He dined with them and invited them to share in his life.
Jesus was told, "Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you." But he said to them, "My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it." Luke 8:20-21
In a society where the individual is prized over the community, we need to know that we belong and are always welcomed. Jesus offers a unique invitation...
Jesus constantly invited people into community. In his day, many people were excluded on the basis of race (so-called Gentiles which included Samarians and Romans). Others were excluded because of their health or way of life.
Jesus did not recognise these divisions, and would often have meals with those made outcast by society. We see him with a Samarian woman, with a tax collector and he was accused of eating with sinners. Equally, he was at home with the rich and religious leaders - yet often offering them a challenge!
Yet Jesus did not simply welcome all people and respect their dignity, he wanted them to belong even more deeply. People became his followers or disciples, leaving their homes to be with him and travelling with him on the road.
In Jewish culture, family is precious. In a profound moment, when people disturb Jesus while with his friends to tell him his family wishes to see him, Jesus asks: Who are my family? Who are my brothers and sisters and mother? Those who do the will of the Father.
At the cross, in John's account, Jesus says to his mother: "Woman, this is your son." Turning to John he says, "This is your mother". He invites them into a new community of love.
We are offered a home in Jesus' family today. Through Baptism we are gathered into the Body of Christ, the Church. It is a family where we are all equal, where there are no more divisions. We are called to love one another and share our joys and struggles. At the heart of this community is our relationship with Christ as our brother, and God as our Father.
It is amazing to think we are offered God's love!
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Our community is not to be one of exclusion. Jesus, at the end of his earthly ministry told us to go and make disciples of the nations. We are to invite others into the God's family. Also, we are constantly called to deepen our love for one another, to forgive wrongs and to build up the life of the community through prayer and good works. Find out more about being Catholic and about our people.