Luc 8:19-21 – “Now Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd. Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.” He replied, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.”
The gospels often speak of family, and in them we discover that Jesus Himself had a family. Today as well, each of us are born into a family. But the notion of a family is not always easy for us to apprehend. We speak not only of a welcoming family, but also of a reconstituted family, a dysfunctional family, on a one-parent family…So this raises the question, how can we live out the idea of being a family as a Christian in the “family of God.”?
It is helpful first of all to note that in Hebrew there is only one single word that is translated “house” or “household” or “family ». It is the word that designates the place where one lives. It is one thing to have a place where you are a visitor or a host, but it is quite another thing to call that site the place of your residence or your “dwelling place.”
The prayer of the apostle Paul for the Ephesians is the following: “…that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith and that you would be rooted and established in love.” (Eph. 3:17). Paul is asking God in other words to dwell in them and that they would dwell in Him. He had said earlier in his letter: “You are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In Him, the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.” (Eph. 2:19-21)
In fact, we belong to several families. Obviously there is the natural family in which we were born, but we also belong to a spiritual family, the house of God. Without ceasing to belong to our natural families, we physically separate ourselves from them when we establish our own families. The new family formed by a young couple, however, does not exempt them from developing their own sense of belonging to a large human family as well as to the spiritual family that is the Church.
In the same way, the « Family of Horizon Churches”, while part of the larger family of the house of God, is called to develop in the image of a young couple who founds his family in perfect continuity of the posterity of the extended family.
– For the “Family of Horizon Churches” so that this little network can find its true family identity and accomplish God’s plans.
– For ourselves, that we may all individually find our place in the family, in the dwelling place of God.