Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?
        Matthew 12:49

        After all the uproar with the moneychangers, Mary, your Son had the courage to go back to the temple the next day.
        Were you frightened when you heard that the chief priests and scribes had questioned Him trying to trap Him into blasphemy?
        If I'd been you, I probably would have had Him called out so I could try to talk some sense into Him before it was too late.

                Maybe that was what you had in mind that day, earlier in His ministry, when you and His brothers asked to speak with Him while He was teaching the crowds.
        That was when you heard those stinging words,

        "Who is my mother? and who are my brothers?"

        When He pointed to His disciples, then, and said,

        "These are my mothers and brothers,"

        you must have felt a bone-deep chill. I know that there's a wider meaning to those words of His, and that He was not rejecting you.
        And yet, it surely must have felt that way. No amount of later insight could deny the piercing pain of that moment when you felt your Child had cast you off.
        The sun's glare must have cut like a blade pressed against your eyes, as you turned away in silence.

                Oh Mary, how hard it is to let go of someone you love! Just last week, John told me that he wants to spend the summer with his brother, our older son and his family.
        It's okay with Paul and Cheryl. John can get a job with a farmer friend of theirs, and he's got his driver's license now so he can come home now and then.
        But Mary, Danbury is a hundred miles away! And John's my last. I'm not ready to give him up yet!

                You did it, though. You gave up your Son long before that final wrenching away.
        As I watch Jesus through your eyes today, Mary, I see Him facing me, His arms stretched out,
        His hands reaching toward me and saying, "Here is my mother, my sister." Just think of it! I am family! Oh, thank you, Mary, for releasing Him to His wider family!
        I guess that, sooner or later, every love relationship demands some kind of letting go.
        And what your sacrifice has taught me, Mary, is that He will give me back what I have freely given.

                I'm going to let John go to Danbury. I pray that Your Son will go with him.

          Loving Jesus, help me to set my loved ones free, in the larger family of Your Father. Then I'll know what it means to truly love.