Following the Call of Love
In today’s Gospel lesson Jesus is being discriminated against by the religious authorities of his tradition. He is acting in powerfully loving ways – embracing the misfits – the non-conformers – through casting out their demons and returning them to community. Because they don’t understand what he is doing, the authorities think he is in league with demons. They send his relatives to stop him, take charge of him. And he sends a powerful message to all, a message in which he claims family of a different sort. He is ours. “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother,” he says.
The will of God is Love. The will of God is love, a love that crosses boundaries and stretches the limits of our definitions and expectations. It opens us up, makes us feel joy and peace and all the other gifts of right relationship with the Holy. In discerning it, we have only to seek those gifts: a deep joy beyond the transient happiness we so often imagine we want; a peace that stills all restlessness; tears of acceptance; and a profound deepening of understanding.
A week ago my granddaughter graduated from high school. My partner and I went to see her walk across the stage to receive her diploma. We traveled by plane and then rental car to the distant, small Wisconsin town where she lives. It was worth every grueling hassle we encountered to be there to celebrate with her.
I am ridiculously proud of her. She’s becoming her own person, a lovely soul whose generosity and compassion are saving the world in thousands of tiny ways every day. And I love her profoundly.
I am a lesbian woman who adopted children back in the 1980’s. I was first a single mom, then was joined by my sister. Finally I found the woman who has been my partner now for 34 years. Her children came to us, and we became a blended family, one whose bonds of love have sustained all its members for decades now.
Let’s all risk the judgment of our communities to follow the call of love, the call of Jesus, to whom we are mother, brother and sisters.