In our first reading for today, we hear the dramatic account of God, through Moses, parting the waters of the Red Sea so that the Israelites can cross to the other side. When the Egyptians come after them, Moses is told again to stretch out his hand, and the waters overcome them! The Israelites are freed from the power of the Egyptians.
In our Gospel reading, we see a different kind of freedom. Jesus is speaking to the crowds when He is told that His mother and brothers are outside, waiting to speak to Him. Instead of stopping, Jesus says, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers? Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, my sister, and mother.” Jesus is not showing disrespect to His blood relatives. Rather, He is indicating that, in Him, we are to see each other as sisters and brothers. Just as God saved the Israelites from the Egyptians by parting the water, God has saved the whole world in Jesus Christ.
In contrast to the waters of the sea drowning the Egyptians, thereby freeing the Israelites, can we let ourselves be washed over by the love of God in Jesus Christ and set free; free from the hatred and the fear and the divisions that lead to violence and discrimination? Are we willing to be free to see each other as sisters and brothers? In our world today, this is not a rhetorical question but indicates a choice we have to make.
May God’s love for us in Jesus Christ wash over us and set us free. May we work towards the freedom of all.
Fr. Phil Paxton, C.P., is the local superior at St. Paul of the Cross Passionist Community in Detroit, Michigan.