Who are my brothers?

Fear and love are mutually exclusive. There can be no fear in love for fear exists only in the darkness and the unknowing. Love can only exist where there is no fear because love only lives in the light of truth and understanding.

“We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us. God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him. There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ but hates his brother, he is a liar; for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. This is the commandment we have from him: Whoever loves God must also love his brother” [1 Jn 4:16, 18-21].

Jesus asked his disciples “Who are my brothers?” and told his disciples “…whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother” [Mt 12:48-50]. We are a community, brothers and sisters in Jesus, one body of Christ. Through baptism we become a new creation, an indivisible and integral part of the community.

Jerome Murphy-O’Connor wrote in Eucharist and Community in First Corinthians “We think of individuals coming together to create community. For Paul it is precisely the reverse. The community is a radically new reality (1 Cor 1:28) which makes the believer a new creation (2 Cor 5:17). We consider unity as something to be created, whereas Paul saw this unity as primary and envisaged individuals as being changed by absorption into the unity.”

We are called by Jesus to love our brothers and sisters, to embrace each other as family, to become a gospel community. But we should ask ourselves this question, as Jesus did, “Who are our brothers and sisters?” Are they those who join with us at table each weekend? Are they the only ones who we call our brothers and sisters? Or are there others who are part of the body of Christ who remain unseen and apart from our community?

An essential element of a community is found in its spelling: com is derived from the Latin, cum, which means with/together and the last five letters, unity, define its essence. We are all one in Christ Jesus, united in our love of God and love of our neighbor. We are called to seek out that which we have lost, just as Jesus taught us with the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son. [Lk 15] Let us pray for those who we do not find among us and let us rejoice and welcome them back into our midst.

Deacon Chuck

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: http://deaconscorner.org. Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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