For many people family is a true blessing, the place where they are born, protected, nurtured and educated. It is in the family where many people learn to love and be loved. However, in order to flourish into our authentic selves, the relationship with the family eventually has to transform, and we gradually grow out of the experience and knowledge we gain from the family. This process oftentimes involves some real struggle as well as reconciliation and healing for the harm done.

Today Jesus’ word not only recognizes this human condition, but also invites us to go beyond it and pursue a higher calling to form our new family in God’s Kingdom. This new relationship connects us to the entire human family through a common commitment to doing “the will of God,” which transcends our human limitation.

How do you recognize others as your brothers and sisters within this new family? 

—Chia-Yang Kao, S.J., a Jesuit scholastic of the Maryland province, is currently studying philosophy at Loyola University Chicago.