Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tuesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

(Exodus 14:21-15:1; Matthew 12:46-30)

Fr. Chuck Gallagher, S.J., initiated “Parish Renewal” over thirty years ago as a way of involving the whole Church on the model of his popular Marriage Encounter program.  At one point in the weekend retreat the pastor promotes parish unity by saying, “Blood is thicker than water.” “How do we share the same blood?” the parishioners will wonder.  The pastor then explains, “We all drink the same blood of Christ.”

Jesus emphasizes the unity of his disciples with him in today’s gospel.  He teaches that even closer to him than his blood relatives stand those who accept God as Father.  They have taken to heart his message and can be counted upon to assist the suffering with whom Jesus especially identifies.

God has given us one another in the Church as friends who make life enjoyable and relatives to support and help.   Along with Jesus himself they give us cause to thank and praise God.