Friday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Genesis 46:1-7.28-20; Matthew 10:16-23)
A narrative is a story. The word is used often to explain a people’s ethos or values. Today’s first reading reveals one of Israel’s significant narratives. God tells Jacob not to fear going to Egypt. There, He says, his family will prosper to become a great nation. This narrative will give Israel reason to be tolerant of other kinds of people living among them but not sharing their culture.
The gospel relates a significant Christian narrative. It tells of how followers of Jesus will be persecuted because of his legacy. It indicates that they are not to retaliate but to respond with the truth which the Spirit will give them. In this way the world will come to know Jesus’ message of enemy love not just as doable but also as salvific.
Narratives help us to appropriate the lessons taught by our founders. They form us with an identity and a common understanding. As descendants of Israel we should be tolerant of other peoples. As followers of Jesus, we should be ready to suffer insult rather than strike back at our detractors.