Year A: 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Matthew 10: 37-42
Again, today, we meet Jesus in uncompromising mood. The task of a disciple is not to be undertaken lightly - it is a whole-hearted commitment.
In some ways, the teaching today seems harsh - is it really necessary to put Jesus above our closest relations - and if we cannot are we really unworthy of Him?
This is a problem the Church has struggled with for generations - what does Jesus ask of His disciples?
One clue may lie in the word” prefer”. Many of us have met people who are very family-orientated - and, on the whole, their homes are places of welcome and love. However, we have also met people for whom “family” has become an idol in itself - they worship the kind of family life they have created and can be positively hostile to outsiders. This preference insulates them from the realities of the world.
For Jesus, that is escape - hiding behind the doors of our homes - perhaps using our families as an excuse for not doing our bit in building the Kingdom on earth.
Such building requires sacrifice - and, for some, the sacrifice is as radical as giving up the chance of family life. For them, this is the cross that Jesus asks them to take up and to follow in His footsteps.
For others, the building of the Kingdom is to take place within families where Jesus is the invisible member at their heart. In such homes, children grow up valuing the relationships of family - but aware that there is big world outside it. Such families find mutual strength and support - but are not closed in on themselves. They become places of welcome where others can also find love and shelter.
These are the homes where those who have followed a more radical path can find a refuge. They may have left their own families - but know that there are others who will welcome them as brother or sister.
Where such a person is welcomed - even with so much as a cup of cold water - the reward for the welcomers will be as great as that of the prophet they have welcomed.
What does it mean for me?
Text © 2007 WellspringWeekly Wellsprings |