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Hey, Count Me In!

Monday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings: Numbers 11:4b-15; Psalm 81:12-13, 14-15, 16-17; Matthew 14:13-21

My dear encountered couples:

Those who ate were about five thousand, not counting women and children.” Does it ever bother you that in this story of the multiplication of the loaves and fish that only the men are counted? Women and children seem to be treated by whoever is counting as unimportant. They are mentioned, but only the men were counted.

It isn’t too easy for us to understand that. The customs of those times put men way out front while the women and children seem to be ignored, except when certain work is to be done. But then until recently women and children didn’t have too many rights in this country. Now, we men are desperately clinging to the few we’ve got left.

My point, however, is not to get into the global problem of equality nor inequality of the genders nor generations, but to alert each of us to look and see if we ever pass over anyone in our estimation of who is and who isn’t important.

In your family: Is there anyone you don’t consult with before making decisions that affect that person? If so, why? At your job or in whatever organization you belong: Is there anyone treated like paint on the wall and who is expected to go along with whatever you and a few others decide?

If we are honest, I think we will all find that we overlook others at times, and not just because our minds are faulty. It’s more like our values concerning people’s worth are prejudiced. Jesus wants us to know that with God we all count, and are counted. He looks upon everyone as equal and 1st class. Do you?


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