In today’s Gospel Jesus was not rejecting his family members, he was telling all of us to have the same love and trust for people of good will everywhere.
The first reading tells us of the completion of the second temple which took place in 515 B.C. We can see a tie-in between the building of that temple and our need to love and trust people not related to us.
Yesterday’s Responsorial Psalm gave us a delightful picture of the people returning to Jerusalem after seventy years of exile. It pictured them saying, “We were like men dreaming, and our mouths were filled with laughter.”
But, their joy faded when they realized they lacked the skilled workmen they needed for building a temple. An avenue opened for them to get the temple built when the People of the Land and the Samaritans came up. Those outsiders were saying they would donate their skilled workmen if the Jews would permit them to join in worshipping God in the finished temple.
The Jews pondered over that offer, but they turned it down, fearing it could lead to their young people marrying Samaritans. In our time, still acting in line with that decision, the Jews are building immense walls to separate themselves from their neighbors.
Back then, for five sad years the Jews had given up on building a new temple. Then, God called up two prophets, Haggai and Zechariah; putting them to the task of stirring the people to buy materials and to hire experts for building the temple.
Jesus wants us to see all men and women as our brothers and sisters, as children of the same Father.
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