Reflection: Building Right and Just Relationships With Our Communities

Scripture: Mark 3: 35-35

A reading from the Gospel of Mark

Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said,
"Here are my mother and my brothers!
Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother."


Ask most people what is important to them, and their families will be at the top of the list. Biological, blended or chosen, our families are the first mirror in which we see ourselves.

At the beginning of his ministry, Jesus' healings and message of radical inclusion, goodness and forgiveness put him at odds with many people, including his family. They called him "out of his mind" (Mark 3:21) and attempted to bring him home. But Jesus no longer saw himself as only a mirror of his own family, his own village. Instead, his vision was wider, and he understood himself to be part of a larger whole, a part of God's family that included all people. His mother, brothers and sisters were the people he served.

The work of ending health disparities requires that we get a bigger mirror as well. We must begin to see our mothers, brothers and sisters in each person, and shape a world where all can flourish. This work and our Catholic health care ministry attest to the truth that we are one family.


At the Last Supper, Jesus prayed that his followers all would be one. Let us continue and expand this prayer that our human family all may be one. Please respond that we all may be one.

For wider circles of inclusion where each person is mother, father, sister and brother – beloved children of God. We pray that we all may be one.

For the courage to lean in and listen, to learn from those in the community, their needs, and to do so without preconception or judgment. We pray that we all may be one.

For the humility to learn as we go, adjust as we learn and value lasting change as relationships grow. We pray that we all may be one.

Closing Prayer:

God of many names,
You create a world abundant with diversity.
The human family forms a rich tapestry that reflects your unity.

Help us to see the threads that unite us to those within our community.
Give us open and agile hearts to braid the ties that bind us together.
Help us listen well to those we seek to serve.
Give us ears that hear each person's voice as notes in the grand symphony of your creation.

May we, like the women and men who came before us, be relentlessly for those most in need and treat them as our own beloved family, for so they are.

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