Tuesday of the 16th Week in Ordinary Time

Stretching out his hand toward his disciples, Jesus said to them, “Here are my mother and my brothers, for whoever does the will of my heavenly Father, is my brother my sister and my mother.”

Early on, we’re taught to be careful of THEM. And ‘them’ can take many forms. We’ve all heard about them. They cheat and lie and steal. They belong to that group. They’re not like us. They’re from a different place. They speak a different language. They went to different schools. They believe different things. They’re not like us. And so we stick ‘them’ in some narrow category, or slap a label on them. A stereotype label… so we know who to look out for and keep away from.

“But with a wave of his hand, Jesus, brushes aside all such discrimination and bigotry and fear,” says Father Jerry. Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother, and yours too, so who have we so carelessly and unfairly who we might start to see as Christ sees them.

Not as ‘them,’ But as brother and sister and father and mother. Lord Jesus, we pray that we may see one another as members of your family, and embrace one another as brothers and sisters under your father’s providence. Do not let us reduce one another to labels or diminish one another by easy stereotypes. May all be embraced in our compassion and understanding as you embrace us in your love. So that we may no longer see them. But only us.