Monday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time/ July 12, 2021
Gospel: Matthew 10:34-11:1
Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus makes an absolute warning to His Apostles, and to all of us who hear His words, that “…whoever loves father or mother, son, or daughter more than Him, is not worthy of Him; whoever does not take up his cross and follow Jesus is not worthy of Him.” However, He gave also an absolute assurance to everyone, that “… whoever loses his life for His sake will find it; whoever receives us also will received Jesus and God the Father who sent Him. And, whoever gives a cup of cold water to one of the little ones to drink because he is a disciple, will surely not lose his reward.”
The absolute warnings coming from Jesus himself were not to discourage nor disappoint the apostles upon following the Lord, rather it challenges them to make the Lord their priority. Jesus is challenging them to put God and His kingdom above all else, so that they would be worthy of Him. This is also a good reminder for all of us who strive to follow the Lord in His footsteps, ‘to put God as priority above all else!’ This would be very challenging for us in today’s generation, for we are bombarded by many things which sometimes leads us to make Jesus our second option. There are lot of things now that separate our attention towards the Lord; for example, the internet, mobile phones, and other developed techs which, if not carefully filtered by the Gospel values, would surely bring us to destructions. The developments in our world today, really gave us a lifestyle which is so comfortable. No wonder, many of us do not even value the gift of suffering by taking ones own cross. No wonder, many would not survive in following the footsteps of the Lord.
Friends, these warnings are also for us! Jesus is asking us to look at ourselves today! What are we doing? Are following in His footsteps? Are we prioritizing Him in our lives? Or, we are making Him as just a second option?
Aside from these absolute warnings of the Lord, He also assured us that we will surely be received Him and the Father if we lose our life for others, for His sake and the Gospel, and if we received Him heartfully in our lives.
Friends, we are still in the midst of pandemic. We are still struggling as One body of Christ. We are hoping for healing, and the end of this virus which disturbed and even claimed many lives. It is necessary for us to keep focus on Christ, so that we will not be left behind, and be astray.
Abba, Loving Father, help us always to prioritize You and Your Kingdom here on earth. May we only depend on You, and not lose hope inspite and despite of this sufferings that we’ve been experiencing. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ Your Son who lives with You in unity with the Holy Spirit, One God, forever and ever. Amen.