Identity and Mission of the Religious Brother in the Church

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By Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life ISBN 9966-08-996-9; Pages 64: Publication 2016 Read more

From the first centuries of Christianity, consecrated life has been composed predominantly of lay members, an expression of the yearning of men and women to live the Jesus way. Even today lay members of the consecrated life, men and women, form the great majority. "Brother" is the name traditionally given to the male lay religious in the Church Since the beginning of consecrated life. The title does not belong to him exclusively, of course, but it represents a significant way of being in the ecclesial community in which he is the prophetic memory Jesus-Brother, who told his followers: "And you are all brothers" (Mt 23:8) This saying of Jesus is passed on to us by Matthew in a context in which Jesus speaks out against the hypocrisy of those who used religion to gain privileges and glory in the eyes of others. But the value of this Logion goes beyond the immediate context. The title of brother/ sister underlines the common dignity and fundamental equality of all believers. Brothers are sons in the Son of the same heavenly Father (cf. Mt 5:45), called upon to form a universal brotherhood in Christ, the firstborn of many brothers (cf. Rom 8:29).

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