A NEW FORM OF RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST
????Prov 21:1-6, 10-13; Ps 119:1, 27, 30, 34, 35, 44 (R.v.35a); Luke 8:19-21
????A NEW FORM OF RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST
May the peace of the Lord be with you. Amen.????????
Among the Jews, blood relationship is a sacred thing. That plays out even in the way they perceive others in relation to redemption. That idea came up from the fact that God chose the people of Israel to be his very own (Deut 7:6) and gave them order not to intermarry with other nations in order not to be contaminated (cf. Deut 7:3). By keeping this injunction and others which the Lord gives them, they shall be his people and he shall be their God (cf. Lev 26:12; Ezek 36:28).????
So for an average Jew, an uncontaminated Jewish blood is the one that would gain the redemption which the Messiah was to bring. The Samaritans fell off the favour because they mixed up with foreigners and intermarried with them.????
Hence, when the people told Jesus that his mother and brothers were looking for him (Luke 8:20), the people were just trying to affirm his relationship with them by blood.????????????
But that would be an exclusive kind of relationship even though Jesus actually came to establish an inclusive relationship – a relationship that would not be limited by blood; one that is all-embracing; one which knows no Jew or Gentile.????
That is why Jesus replied them, “My mother and my brethren are those who hear the word of God and do it” (Luke 8:21). That is an introduction of faith-commitment as a mark of relationship with Jesus.????
Thenceforth, relationship with Jesus was no longer limited to the Jews but embraced everyone through faith. That is how we came to be partakers of that redemption which Jesus brought. That is a big mark of generosity from Jesus.????
Hence, any one of us who is a partaker of that generosity from Jesus and still discriminates against others who also share in it is a hypocrite. Listen to St. Paul himself, “Now, in Christ Jesus, all of you are children of God through faith…There is no longer any distinction between Jew and Greek, or between slave and freeman, or between man and woman; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28).????
In the nineteenth century, the Christians in Korea faced great persecution that led to the martyrdom of great number of them who we celebrate today. The blood they shed for the sake of Christ became the seed of strong faith in parts of Korea today, especially in the South. But the Christians in North Korea still face great persecution and we are encouraged to remember them in our prayers daily, for courage in bearing authentic witness for Christ.????????????????????????
We pray that God may heal us of all envy and hatred of one another and grant us that love that binds the Blessed Trinity together so that we may try to resemble God as he is, to the extent of bearing our pains for the good of others. Through that, may we have a peaceful society where all may live freely in love. Amen.????????
Kindly remember in your prayers to pray for the happy repose of Rev. Mother Louis-Marie Ezenkwele IHM who would be laid to rest today.????????
I wish you a very happy day in the Lord. It is well with you.????????