“My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act upon it.” —Luke 8:21

For the Israelites, blood lines were of critical importance. The commandment that “the life is in the blood” ruled both their dietary laws (see Lv 17:11) and their entire culture. Their heritage and family lineage literally defined them as a people and a nation.

Now in Jesus, the family is no longer defined by the blood line passed on from father and mother. In Jesus, the family is defined by a new blood line: the Blood of Christ. Faith in Jesus, through hearing His Word (see Rm 10:17), acting upon this Word (Lk 8:21), and being baptized into the family of God (Catechism, 1265) now defines membership in God’s family. We ratify and renew this family membership by receiving the Blood of Jesus in the Eucharist, the family meal.

No longer is it necessary to shed the blood of lambs, bulls, or goats (see Ezr 6:17) to demonstrate our family loyalty. In joining the family of God through Baptism, we are changed. We are begotten from above, baptized into Christ’s death and Resurrection (see Rm 6:3-4). We now see everything in relation to our new family. God is our Father, Jesus our Brother, Savior and Lord, and the Holy Spirit seals us into the family (Catechism, 1274). Mary is our mother, all who have faith in Christ are our siblings, and even those who do not believe in Christ are our potential brothers and sisters. Therefore, live the lifestyle befitting a member of the royal family of Christ (see 1 Pt 2:9).

PRAYER: Jesus, may Your blood be upon us and our loved ones (see Mt 27:25).
PROMISE: “I rejoiced because they said to me, ‘We will go up to the house of the Lord.’ ” –Lk 8:21
PRAISE: Penny and John had their wedding rings engraved “United in Christ” and He has been their faithful Partner for 60 years.

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