Monday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Genesis 28:10-22a; Matthew 9:18-26)
Ask children what they will do when they grow up, and often enough they have an answer. One girl approximately twelve years old says that she will be a pediatrician. She will have to work hard to fulfill her plan, but it is not an impossible dream. We meet Jacob in the first reading today in a comparable situation.
Jacob has left his house as a young man to pursue his destiny. The reading shows him in communion with God who promises to make him the father of a nation that will bless the entire earth. In making a shrine on the spot where he receives the revelation, Jacob shows his wholehearted acceptance. Christians see this promise fulfilled in Jesus, Jacob’s descendant whom the world recognizes as a universal teacher of righteousness.
As we become older, our dreams often become humbler. We no longer think of changing the world but only hope to change our own hearts. We want to lose our preoccupation with self so that we might love others as Jesus has shown us. It is helpful to remember that the same God who promised to accompany Jacob wherever he went is also at our side.