Tuesday of the Twenty-FifthWeek in Ordinary Time
The family and the plan of life
Then his mother and his brothers came to him but were unable to join him because of the crowd. He was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside and they wish to see you.” He said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.” Lk 8,19-21
The today passage of the gospel gives us an opportunity to ponder on how the relationship between parents and children and the concept of family evolve over the time. Jesus is already out of the house of Nazareth and now he lives in community with his disciples, who share with him his life project. Also the crowd, by which he is surrounded, is more familiar with him than what his mother and relatives are, because Jesus has a daily relationship with it and announces the mysteries of the kingdom, even if he explains these in parables, not clearly as he does with his disciples. It is the project of life which everyone is called to realize, to determine, from a certain moment onwards, the context of his community and also the circle of his friends. The original family in which we are born, where we grow, we receive a formation and also the help to understand what is the project of life to which the Lord calls us, at a certain point is obsolete and it becomes part of our “old testament”. When a son leaves the parental home, forming another family or becoming part of a community, he has to share dreams, goals and projects with this new reality. The important is that everyone has a new reality as the reference. When we, talking with Gianfilippo, who lives in London being alone, urge him to marry and to form a family, it is because we consider it essential to his realization and of his life project. A person needs a family where to share projects and to discuss solutions. The one who lives alone – now he is called “single”- commits mistakes in an easier way: “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him” (Gn 2,18). When, by the last year, I went to spend a week with Gianluca in Castelvolturno, it was to help him to understand the reality in which he lives and to give him some suggestions for the future, because he, in this moment, has not a family where to confront. It is not easy to live in Castelvolturno, a town dominated by the camorra, where the prostitution and the smuggling of drugs are activities terribly widespread and where the majority of the population is non-EU immigrants. These are the considerations to be done to understand the response of Jesus to his mother and his relatives, of which he is certainly fond, but they are the past, not the present, and mainly not the future.