No Strangers, Only Brothers and Sisters

Is 2:1-5 / Mt 8:5-11

With each passing year, we find ourselves confronted with abundant new evidence of our human inclination to fragment into in-groups and out-groups. Whether on the international scale or in our own neighborhoods, schools, and parishes, we see it happening over and over, one group declaring another to be outsiders, strangers, inferiors, not one of us. The division is always arbitrary and usually quite superficial in origin, but that doesn’t lessen the intensity with which it is felt and enforced, sometimes even with threats of death.

Nothing could be further from the big family, the communion, which our hearts yearn for. Isaiah tells us in today’s Old Testament reading that God has a very different vision of our future. “The mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest mountain and … all nations shall stream toward it.” In God’s vision, there is no they, only we, no strangers, only brothers and sisters.

So how are we doing at making God’s plan come true? Are we leaving anyone or any group outside the circle of our love and concern? Isn’t it time to bring everyone inside?