This morning the Instrumentum Laboris for the October 2014 Extraordinary meeting of the Synod of Bishops was released (topic: The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization). You can read it here. The first three paragraphs cover “The Biblical Teaching on the Family” and cite, respectively, Genesis, the gospels, and the epistles. But Paragraph 2 mentions only the wedding at Cana (John 2), Jesus as the Bridegroom (John 3:29), and Jesus’s prohibition of divorce (Matt 19) to show that “the Church’s proclamation on the family finds its foundation in the life and preaching of Jesus, who lived and grew up in the family of Nazareth.” There are many other passages that show Jesus’s commitment to the biological family. Such as:

Matt 23:9
“And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.”

Mark 3:32–35 (repeated in Matt 12:47–50 and Luke 8:20–21)
“And a crowd was sitting around him and said to him, ‘Your mother and brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.’ And he replied, ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ And looking around at those who sat around him, he said, ‘Here are my mothers and my brothers. Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and sister, and mother.'”

Luke 14:26
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters and yes, even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.”

Matt 10:34–36 (repeated in Luke 12:51–53)
“Don’t think that I have come to bring peace on earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man’s enemies [will be] those of his own household.”

Matt 10:37
“He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”

Luke 2:48–49
“And when they saw him, they were shocked. And his mother said to him, ‘Son, why did you treat us like this? Look, your father and I have been desperately searching for you.’ And he said to them, ‘Why were you looking for me? Didn’t you know that I must be in my father’s house?'”

Luke 9:59–62 (repeated in Matt 8:21–22)
“But he said, ‘Lord, let me first go and bury my father.’ But he said to him, ‘Let the dead bury their own dead. You go and proclaim the kingdom of God.’ Another person said, ‘I’ll follow you, Lord, but first let me say farewell to those in my house.’ But Jesus said to him, ‘No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.'”




2 thoughts

  1. Thank you.

    FWIW, the exegesis I’ve always heard for the tensions between Jesus and his family was the marketing of his remarkable gift of healing. As I understand it, the common practice of the time was for him to set up in Nazareth and people would come to him. They would pay. Then he would heal.

    The whole traveling thing, going to those in need of healing, charging only what folks could afford, is offered as a possible root cause of the tension.

  2. What was all the stuff about ‘gender ideology’? I think the Bishops are the ones trying to promote a gender ideology, and a false one at that.

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