Tuesday - 16th Week in Ordinary Time
Gospel – Matthew 12:46-50
They Aint’t Heavy, They’re My Brothers (Sisters)
Deacon Ordination, 2015
For the past 6 years, a group of my deacon classmates and I have gathered together monthly to share a meal, to take stock of our journey and to catch up on our respective ministries. At least, that was the case until Covid hit! So for over a year and a half, those gatherings have been put on hold. And that has been a great loss! We affectionately call them our ‘amigo’ dinners and for all the right reasons. We spent four years together in formation, studying, praying, testing and stressing! We supported each other, propped each other up when someone was struggling, and comforted each other in times of loss and pain. And not just in formation but throughout our life as deacons! They have become not only my friends, but my brothers.
I have one brother, George, and two sisters, Mary and Theresa. By blood, these are my brother and sisters. But today’s Gospel reminds us that all of us are brothers and sisters! Seriously, it’s a simple message but it demands much of us. We were all adopted as sons and daughters of our heavenly Father at Baptism. That makes us all brothers and sisters in faith. And it means we are called to treat each other as such. No, not fighting tooth and nail like we do sometimes as siblings. But treating each other with respect and love and dropping everything at a moment’s notice because someone else was threatening them. You know that to be true. We may fight and disagree at times but God help anyone who tries to hurt my sibling! Jesus today reminds us that, if we truly are His disciples, then we must treat each other as brothers and sisters. And we should expect to be treated the same as well.
Usually when we reflect on this Gospel passage, we focus on how we can truly be a brother or sister to others, particularly those in need. But for today, let’s turn things around. Let’s consider all those who have been a brother/sister to us, especially in times of anguish and pain. Those friends and family and even complete strangers who took the time to support us, comfort us, and encourage us when we lost hope and perhaps even faith!
So, let’s thank the Lord for all our brothers and sisters, whether they are friend or family, a nameless stranger or a brother deacon. Be thankful for their guidance and example! Thankful for their humor and confidence! Thankful for providing us with wise counsel in their words and in their actions! And may we follow their example and be a brother/sister to others!
Great Spirit, give me the courage today to speak the truth and to act on that truth. We are all Your children. May my words and actions today reflect that simple and loving truth.