“Assemble and listen, sons of Jacob, listen to Israel, your father” – Genesis 49:2
“There is no worse form of alienation,” Pope Francis writes in ‘Fratelli Tutti,’ “than to feel uprooted, belonging to no one.” Today’s scripture readings remind us that we belong. The gospel from Matthew provides us with the genealogy of Jesus. To forget that we have a history leads not just to a sense of alienation, but also to a sense of individualism. Reflecting on the pandemic of 2020, Pope Francis writes, “the recent pandemic enabled us to recognize and appreciate once more all those around us who, in the midst of fear, responded by putting their lives on the line. We began to realize that our lives are interwoven with and sustained by ordinary people valiantly shaping the decisive events of our shared history: doctors, nurses, pharmacists, storekeepers and supermarket workers, … men and women working to provide essential services and public safety … They understood that no one is saved alone.”
To be followers of Jesus, especially in a time of pandemic, means to be aware that we belong and are connected to each other; we have a shared history. Not only are we not in this alone, but we have a responsibility to save each other and work for the common good. This Advent, I’m grateful for the “ordinary people” who have helped to sustain me in a time of crisis. I am also cognizant of my responsibility to reach out and care for others, even those who may not share my spiritual or cultural heritage, but who are members of a “single human family, … children of the same earth which is our common home, each of us bring the richness of his or her beliefs and convictions, … brothers and sisters all.” (Pope Francis, ‘Fratelli Tutti’).
Holy Lord, help us to reach out and care for each other, recognizing that we are all part of the human family.
Brother Lawrence Harvey
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