Posted on Oct 8, 2020

When I was an adolescent I came to a turning point, a day when I crossed a fine line with my parents which changed my relationship with them forever.

It was late summer and I decided to go to the family reunion in Milwaukee.

Because my parents weren’t going I made arrangements to get a ride there with my great-uncle.

            On Saturday morning, as I was having breakfast with my family,

            I announced, rather calmly that I would be leaving in about an hour for the reunion.

            I remember clearly the looks on the faces of my family– shock and anger.

            My father, reached across the table and grabbed my arm. I responded that I was.

            Again, I remember clearly, looking into his eyes, and saying: “You can do

anything you want, but I’m still going.”

My father had the good grace and wisdom to know I had crossed a very fine line between childish dependence and almost adult independence.

There are a lot of fine lines you and I will cross in our lives.

1. We’ll recognize that we’ve become true adults next to our parents.

2.  We’ll realize some other person is not just a passing infatuation, but someone we love.

3.  If we’re lucky it’ll happen with our jobs, the day will come when they won’t be just a way to

            earn a buck but vocation–a way in which we contribute to the well-being of the community.

In the gospel the guests who get thrown out cross a fine line–more accurately, DON’T cross a fine line.

Jesus uses the story to talk about our relationship with God,

Matthew to speak about our relationship with the church.

For Jesus his fondest desire is that we discover that adulthood day, 

When God is not just an idea floating above our heads,

or someone important to our parents but becomes real and personal to us.

For Matthew, he wants members of his community to understand that this need not be a casual

association all their lives, but a community where they are rooted, to whom they belong.

For Jesus and Matthew there are internal changes/lines we have to cross, but there are external changes as well, the stuff we do, the way we do them, maybe even the clothes we wear.  The word for  “garment” in the gospel really means “change”, as in “change of clothes.”

That adolescent Saturday of mine, my father packed the whole family in the car and drove to Milwaukee.

And as we drove I realized that it wasn’t a power play at all–getting my way–

but the beginning of a different relationship.

I could never go back to just being a child.

I had a kind of responsibility now, for the way things went in the family–it was both

joy and burden.

May all of you know both the joy and the burden of an adult relationship with God–

and this community.