07_24_07 H People
JULY 24: TUESDAY OF THE 16TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
“[W]hoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.” (Mt. 12:50)
Can other people see a family resemblance between us and Jesus, our Brother? Today’s reading gets me asking that question because, not long ago, I saw a crazy coincidence that nobody would have noticed except for the power of looking-like-a-brother.
See, my parents and I went to a Japaneses restaurant where chefs do a high-speed, knife-tossing, chop-slice-and-dice show while cooking at your table. The table seating can put you with people you don’t know. We were with others who were on their own: two couples and one other man. This man, who was probably in his late 50s, eventually asked one of the others, “Hey, do you have a brother named Ernest?” It turned out he was right. He’d gone to high school with Ernest, the older brother of the second man who looked to be in his mid-40s. Ernest’s old classmate said he couldn’t help asking, the family resemblance was so powerful. And he hadn’t seen Ernest in years.
Our older Brother, Jesus, does what his Father desires, asks and commands—always and everywhere (see Lk. 22: 41-43 and parallels in Mt. and Mk.; also Jn. 5:19). In today’s Gospel story, he shows how we can best be recognized as members of his faith-family. It’s not just by saying, “Lord, Lord” or “Father God, Father God.” Jesus says our resemblance is powerfully noticeable when, like him, we clearly act in godly ways.
Holy Spirit, empower us so our actions get people to ask, “Hey, do you have a brother named Jesus?” (Fr. Tony Wood)