Ex 15:8-9, 10 & 12, 17
Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.
16TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Psalter: Week 4 / (Green/White)
St. Lawrence of Brindisi, priest & doctor
1st Reading: Ex 14:21 – 15:1
Moses stretched his hand over the sea and Yahweh made a strong east wind blow all night and dry up the sea.
The waters divided and the sons of Israel went on dry ground through the middle of the sea, with the waters forming a wall to their right and to their left. The Egyptians followed them and all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots and horsemen moved forward in the middle of the sea.
It happened that in the morning watch, Yahweh in the pillar of cloud and fire, looked towards the Egyptian camp and threw it into confusion. He so clogged their chariot wheels that they could hardly move. Then the Egyptians said, “Let us flee from the Israelites for Yahweh is fighting for them against Egypt.”
Then Yahweh said to Moses, “Stretch your hand over the sea and let the waters come back over the Egyptians, over their chariots and horsemen.” Moses stretched out his hand over the sea.
At daybreak the sea returned to its place. As the Egyptians tried to flee, Yahweh swept them into the sea.
The waters flowed back and engulfed the chariots and horsemen of the whole army of Pharaoh that had followed Israel into the sea. Not one of them escaped. As for the Israelites they went forward on dry ground in the middle of the sea, the waters forming a wall on their right and their left.
On that day Yahweh delivered Israel from the power of the Egyptians and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the seashore. They understood what wonders Yahweh had done for them against Egypt, and the people feared Yahweh. They believed in Yahweh and in Moses, his servant.
Then Moses and the people sang this song to Yahweh: I will sing to Yahweh, the glorious one, horse and rider he has thrown into the sea.
Gospel: Mt 12:46-50
While Jesus was still talking to the people, his mother and his brothers wanted to speak to him and they waited outside. So someone said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside; they want to speak with you.”
Jesus answered, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” Then he pointed to his disciples and said, “Look! Here are my mother and my brothers. Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother.”
It is always amusing to hear two sweethearts debate on how exactly they will spend their evening together. Will they watch a movie, go to a basketball game, attend a rock concert, walk in the park? Each of the lovers want to please the other without any regard for personal preferences. In substance, they are always saying: your will, not mine.
Such is the nature of authentic love. It always seeks union of the wills, those sacred places in which our freedom is rooted. Jesus, who understands human nature better than anyone, knows this perfectly. That is why he insists so much on our loving him by obeying his will: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (Jn 14:15).
In today’s gospel reading Jesus does not deny the value of family ties. He knows very well that, as the saying goes “blood is thicker than water.” In other words, family ties are stronger than the ties binding classmates, business associates, countrymen, co-workers, teammates and even close friends. But at the same time he affirms the primacy of spiritual ties in the new community founded by him. In other words, doing his Father’s will created ties thicker than blood!
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