Today’s Gospel: Matthew 12:46-50
Optional Memorial of Saint Lawrence of Brindisi, Priest and Doctor of the Church
Who’s your tribe? Who supports your mission as a family? Historically (and pre-historically), humans congregated in tribes. Tribal living made us safer, distributed our work, and connected us with strong bonds.
I imagine that many people, especially women, probably didn’t have much choice about the tribe they belonged to or their place in it. Our mobile society has improved things in this respect: if I don’t get along with my family, or I hate the weather, I can always pack up and move. Yet this mobility has weakened our bonds. I remember calling my dear friend, Fr. Ray, the priest who had presided at our wedding Mass, early on in my marriage. My husband and I had been married five years, just enough time to have had four children. My parents lived too far away to help with the children, and my in-laws worked full time. Exactly 100% of my friends from college had moved away. I was alone with my children all day, every day.
“I am so, so tired,” I complained to Fr. Ray. “You were there at our wedding—did I really promise to use myself up like this?”
“You’re not supposed to be doing this alone,” replied Fr. Ray, who had grown up in a tight neighborhood on the East Coast. “Your mom is supposed to live upstairs, your aunties across the street, the elderly lady who never had children just down the road. It isn’t natural to be raising a family in isolation.”
Jesus would agree. In today’s Gospel he gives us each other as adelphoi, as brothers and sisters united in him. He confirms his care for family bonds when, dying on the cross, he gives Mary and John to each other. Jesus wants to give us a tribe, family (biological or not) united in his love.
What are two concrete ways I can create—or strengthen—the bonds of my tribe?
Jesus, my brother and my savior, help me to be like John, the disciple you loved. Help me bring your mother into my home.
We thank our friends at The Word Among Us for providing our gospel reflection team with copies of Abide In My Word 2015: Mass Readings at Your Fingertips. To pray the daily gospels with this wonderful resource, visit The Word Among Us.
Copyright 2015 Grace Mazza Urbanski