Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
July 19th, 2011
Cathy Weiss Pedersen

Campus Ministry
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Monday of the 16th Week in Ordinary Time
[396] Exodus 14:21-15:1
Exodus 15:8-9, 10+12, 17
Matthew 12:46-50

Summer - a time when many people welcome traveling family members into their home or gather at a destination for a chance to share time and family together. Recently my husband and I and our adult children, their spouses and our grandson traveled from our homes across the United States to meet near some national parks for a week of sharing meals, hiking and day trips, and relaxing together. It was wonderful just being together and spending time with one another.

So, when I first read the Gospel for today, I struggled with what seemed so foreign to my experience of family, as well as my idea of who is Jesus.

Someone said, "Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, asking to speak with you." And Jesus said, "Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?… Whoever does the will of God are my brother, and sister, and mother."

Surely Jesus isn’t so caught up in his teaching and healing that he ignores his mother and relatives!!!

However, as I reflected on Jesus words and works as recorded in Matthew before and after this passage, (and read some commentaries), I realized that there was a different emphasis.

In Jesus teachings, parables and conversations surrounding today’s passage, there is an ongoing message of seeing, hearing AND living God’s will by becoming God’s presence to everyone, not just those in our familiar circles.

It is not enough to simply call ourselves followers of Jesus because we have been baptized. Baptism welcomes us into the Christian family. However, the call of Baptism is to recognize that we are made in God’s image, and to live into that sacred call by recognizing each and every human person as a child of God.

Our care, concern, service and working for justice for and with others must reach beyond our familiar comfort zones to include all. The Gospel is a message of inclusivity rather than exclusivity or selectivity.

What does this look like in my life today? Certainly I am to be the best mother, wife, and grandmother that I can be to and with my family. But how I/we live, as family members should help us BEcome more of the caring, concerned persons working for justice in service to others also.

How do I/we live into the image of God in which we are each created? Mother Teresa challenges us to, "Live simply so others may simply live."
How do we cultivate and use our time, talents, resources and presence for the betterment, not only of our families and communities, but also of those who are greatest in need?

My prayer today and for this summer, is to ask God to help me reflect and act on these questions…and perhaps come to a deeper understanding and living out of same question as Jesus:
“Who is my mother (and father)? Who are my sisters and brothers?...
(and who are my children and grandchildren?)” in the greater human family.

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