Bishop Banda’s homily, Tuesday, 3rd Week, Year 2
In life we relate with one another at different levels. We relate as blood relations or as families, whilst others as professional fraternities, or as mere friends. By and large relations between friends seem to be stronger than any other form of relationship. This can be seen in the commitment and concern for one another. Very often than not friends sacrifice for the other, go beyond personal interests and comfort for the sake of the other.
When Jesus was told by the crowds that His mother and brothers were waiting outside to see Him, people expected that the principle of blood is thicker than water would apply. But to the contrary. He stated: “Whoever does the will of God is my brother, my sister and my mother”. Implying that those that do the will of God are His relatives.
Jesus’ answer was in no way meant to diminish His respect for the mother but it was meant to be all inclusive. He identified Himself with others not on account of blood relationships, nor family ties, not even rank or position, but rather their loyalty in the search for true knowledge, love and service of God above all else. Thus those that are loyal are also designated as His brothers, sisters and mother.
What then is the will of God? The will of God is first and foremost to know God (mind), to love Him (heart), and to serve Him (strength). It means that this knowledge, love and service of God ought to be above every other single person in our lives. It implies being aware of His presence within ourselves and others and always being mindful of God at all times – so that God becomes our inspiration and motivation.
It is this awareness of God in our life that helps us in our love and service not only towards self but also towards others, thereby going beyond oneself in the service of God and neighbour. When this reality is well-known, we become a new family (children of God) and our love overflows to our families and friends, and all those that we encounter.
God is the source and origin of this new family hence the need to know Him, to love Him and to serve Him. Only then can we be satisfied of our deepest desires and our need to be loved unconditionally. Thereafter we are able to reciprocate the same gesture to others. We cannot give to others, what we ourselves have not received. Hence to know God, to love Him and to serve Him and subsequently to serve Him in our neighbour