Doing God’s will

Word Alive

by Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD

Did Jesus Christ have brothers? Some say “yes” because of today’s gospel passage: “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking an opportunity to speak to you.”

“Brothers” in Jewish language is a generic term which also means “cousins.” And this is what the evangelist Mark must have meant. Otherwise, the other evangelists would have mentioned that Jesus had brothers.

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The Lord’s reply: “Who are my mother and my brothers?” sounds like a disrespect or rejection of his mother and close kins. Jesus did not mean that, however; rather it was a hyperbolic way of stressing a point. In this instance, Jesus is teaching that SPIRITUAL relationship is more important than blood relationship.

Then Jesus goes on to say that spiritual relationship is achieved by doing the will of God. “Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

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How do we know God’s will? One way is through reading the Scriptures, the Word of God. Another is through the Church, which teaches matters of faith and morals with the authority of God himself.

The will of God is further known from laws and ordinances of the country. And, very concretely, God’s will is discerned in the particular circumstances of our life, or the so-called “signs of the times.”

For instance, the unexpected death of a loved one, an incurable sickness, natural calamities or events that are beyond our control.

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Knowing or hearing God’s will can be easy, but putting it into practice is difficult. Once a priest was delivering a homily with much gusto and enthusiasm. “Thou shalt not kill!” he boomed.

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A fired-up mass goer in the front pew exclaimed in agreement, “Amen, Father, amen.”

“Thou shalt not steal!” the priest fulminated. Again the parishioner in front practically shouted, “Amen! Amen!”

With the tension rising to electric pitch, the preacher paused and declared with his full voice,”Thou shalt not commit adultery.”

“Now, now,” said the parishioner. “You have stopped preaching. You are now meddling in my life.”

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It’s easy enough to accept the will of God in words but when it goes against our will or if we cannot keep it, then we say God’s command is not practical for me; that’s “selective obedience.”

“Forgive your enemies – and, mind you, not seven times but seven times seventy!” “How can I forgive a husband who’s unfaithful, a friend who’s betrayed me or an officemate who keeps backbiting me?

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“If any one would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” How many of our “public servants” would really practice that?

Let us pray that God strengthens our faith and perseverance in keeping God’s will as contained in his 10 Commandments. Above all, let’s put his commands into practice.

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As the author George Truettneatly puts it: “Knowing the will of God is the greatest knowledge, finding the will of God is the greatest discovery, but to DOING the will of God is the greatest achievement.”

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Written by Tempo Online

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