Armodoxy for Today: Family
A beautiful tradition exists in America, a day to honor mothers and another day to honor fathers. Just before the Summer, on the second Sunday in May and on the third Sunday in June we celebrate Mother’s and Father’s Day.
Biological ties are the first indicators of parental designation. We each have a biological mother and a biological father. As we know, parents come in all forms and types and sometimes the biological connection takes a secondary position to someone who has nurtured, cared and loved an individual.
Jesus identified family not by biological links, but by the love and care we show towards him. In the Gospel of Matthew, we read that, as Jesus was teaching, someone approached and said, “’Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak with You.’ But Jesus answered and said to the one who told Him, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.” (12:46-50) The other synoptic Gospels also record incidents such as this with the same definition of family tie.
For Jesus, its very clear, family is defined by ties that demonstrate our love. “Whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
Furthermore, as Armenians our names end in “ian” (or “yan”). The “ian” suffix means “the family of.” Petrosian is the family of Petros, or Peterson. Davidian is the family of David or Davidson. And it only follows that a “Christian” is a person who belongs to the family of Christ. Jesus spells it out very nicely, that to be a Christian means we accept the call, and we do the will of God.
We pray in the Lord’s prayer, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” As children of God, we take it upon ourselves to do the will of God. We become the agents by which God’s will is done on earth.
Let us pray Psalm 40, “Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare. Sacrifice and offering you did not desire… I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart.”