Tuesday of the 16th week Ordinary Time
Fishing last week with my older brother and a good friend was one of the best times of my life. The fishing was good even though none of us had ever fished on the lake before. We ate like kings; my brother’s friend loves to cook, so he prepared a leg of lamb one night and fresh lake trout another! What made the time away so special were the late-night talks around the campfire, chatting about life and sharing stories. What I am learning is what unites people is the willingness to experience and to share intense or significant experiences in our lives. Our readings speak to this very well.
In our first reading, the slaves of Egypt have been set free and are running for their freedom as the Egyptian army chased the Israelites into the desert. As they prepare to cross the sea, God parts the water so the Israelites may cross on dry ground, but when their captures come to God brings the water back and drowns the Egyptian army. This intense experience brings the people to a greater awareness of who they are, and they believe in God.
In our Gospel, as Jesus is preaching and healing the people when notice gets to him that his mother and brothers are outside, and want to speak to him. Jesus responds, “Who is my mother? Who is my brother?” Jesus stretched out his hand towards his disciples; by this gesture, Jesus is extending who is in his family by anyone who does the will of the Father.
In a world that is pulling people apart and making dividing lines between people, let us not forget the circle of “family” for us widens when we are willing to stretch out our hands to create what might be a significant life-changing event in someone’s life.