… “Who are my mother and my brothers?” Mark 3:33
We have a very narrow definition of who we are related to. For people who live on this great sphere of earth, the circle of those whom we care about is limited to the circumference of a dime. If one is not of our household, ideology, nationality, race, denomination, or religion; we consider such as unworthy of not only care and compassion (except in times of ritual or emergency charity). We don’t count them among our equals though God also created them in his likeness and breathed his breath in them and made them living souls as well.
One’s bloodline has nothing to do with belonging to the family of Jesus Christ. There was a crowd sitting around him. Mostly Jews like himself. But, in other stories, we see him interacting with Romans, Canaanites, and Samaritans. And none of the Jews seemed to clam him as a relative. Doing the will of God, Jesus says, is the standard of our relationship to one another.
This is why Gandhi told the Christian who sought to convert to Hinduism to go back home and learn to be a good Christian and then come and learn to be a good Hindu. This is why Malcolm X no longer taught Nation of Islam bigotry after sharing the great pilgrimage with Muslims from around the world. This is why Dr. Martin Luther King bemoaned the fact that eleven o’clock Sunday morning was (and remains today) the most segregated hour in America. These men of faith recognized and accepted all who sought true faith and betterment for all humanity as the thread that binds us all together. God is the final judge of all who will dwell eternity. Thus, let us be cautious about closing our circles of the holy family too closely. We may find we are shutting ourselves out of it.
Yours in Christ,
Brother Cyprian Bluemood
Order of Saint-Simon of Cyrene