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Brothers and Sisters in Christ
Diane M. Houdek
Source: Bringing Home the Word
Published: Sunday, December 30, 2012

One of the stories nearly everyone knows about St. Francis is that he publicly and dramatically rejected his father, Pietro, in order to follow his call from God. In this, as in so many other things, he is following Christ, who said that anyone who did not leave mother and father, sisters and brothers, to follow him was not worthy to be called a disciple. We struggle with this part of the Gospel in different ways throughout our lives. As young people, we might embrace a sense of freedom from our families. As parents, however, we might be reluctant to let our children go.

In his Testament, written a year or two before his death, Francis tells the story of his call. And in his words, we see the promise of Christ once again coming to fulfillment. Francis has left mother, father, sisters and brothers. And then he tells us that at the very beginning of his new life, “the Lord gave me brothers.”

Even as we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family and continue our Christmas festivities with our own families, we know that as Christians, we have been given mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, in a communion that extends far beyond the ties of biology. This is the promise of the Good News.

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