Friday, December 17, 2021
Genesis 49: 2, 8-10;
All Our Relations
In the passage from Matthew’s gospel, there is a list of Jesus’ ‘relations’ going back to Abraham, fourteen generations. Jesus would have known who his relations were. They would have been spoken about–who they were, what they did, how they were related– and each of these family members would hold an important place in the life of Jesus, his parents, and his siblings. These relations would be prayed for in life and in death, and they would be remembered with love and gratitude.
Over the past months, we have been made very aware of the unmarked graves of countless indigenous children, who, having been removed from their family homes and sent to residential schools, died, and were buried, very often without their families knowing what had happened to them or where they were. These children may have been gone but they were never forgotten, and we have been witnesses to the deep grief and the heartbreaking pain of family members many generations later. We have also been witnesses to the touching acts of remembering with love and gratitude those whose lives were tragically cut short.
We have much to learn from our indigenous brothers and sisters about knowing and claiming all our relations and remembering with love and gratitude all those whose lives, however long or short, have touched us, have molded us, have inspired us to be all we can be.