Throughout this reading, in which Jacob lives out his last days and asks to be buried by his son, Joseph, in Canaan, there is a theme of tradition that seems odd in that it doesn’t reflect our modern lifestyle. When Jacob dies, he requests to be buried in his ancestral burial grounds. He takes great care to request a certain burial site, and in doing so maintains a longstanding family tradition. Nowadays, that tradition is much less prevalent. Why? Because in modern times, tradition is not as important. For the people of Biblical times family was critical and upholding traditions was honorable.
Today, people are more involved in their day-to-day lives and their immediate families. Extended families are dispersed. As a culture, we have become more interested in things we can hold in our hands than the idea of something we can’t grasp. People nowadays seem to crave knowledge more than traditions, too. In our quest to learn, we have forgotten some of our values, and become more distant from one another. In this way, this age of information could be an issue in the fragmentation of family bonds.
It is my hope, that with all that technology offers, we can find some way to use that technology to become closer to our family, close and extended. We may just need a little time to learn how, and no small amount of faith.