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Thursday. [Rom. 15:17–29; Matt. 12:46–13:3] For whosoever shall do the will of My Father which is in Heaven, the same is My brother, and sister, and mother. By this the Lord gives us to know that the spiritual kinship which He came to plant and raise up on the earth is not the same as fleshly kinship; although in the form of its relationships, the spiritu?al is the same as the fleshly. The spiritual also contains fathers and mothers — they are those who give birth to people with the word of truth or the gospel, as the apostle Paul says. And it contains also brothers and sisters — they are those who are born spiritually from one person and grow in one spirit. The connection between [spiritual] relatives is founded on the action of grace. It is not external, not superfi?cial, but as deep and alive as the fleshly connection, only it has its place in another much higher and important sphere. This is why it predominates over the fleshly, and when necessary, it brings the fleshly as a sacrifice to its spiritual interests without regret, in full certainty that this sacrifice is pleasing to God and is required by Him.
Saint Theophan the Recluse