You don’t know me, but...
You don’t know me, but I’m your brother...
The voice and the lyrics sounded like a young black man raised in the inner city. In truth, they belonged to a blue-eyed white guy from Missouri, yet that famous first line remains accurate: this person - white or black, rich or poor - is our brother.
That first line echoes the key statement from today’s famous first reading (Genesis 44:18-21, 23b-29; 45:1-5) as Pharaoh’s inscrutable and powerful lieutenant reveals himself to beggars from Canaan:
I am your brother Joseph.
Today’s reading is an occasion for us to remember that, as created and loved by God, every man is our brother and every woman is our sister. We do not always know it and we certainly do not always act like it, but it remains true nonetheless.
It is also true that not all men and women treat us as their sisters or brothers. In those specific cases, our Lord’s advice in today’s Gospel (Matthew 10:7-15) - to shake their dust from our feet - must be kept in mind, even as we remember in our prayers that they remain our brothers and sisters.
May we live as brothers and sisters in the truth and love of God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.