Posted: 14 Jul 2013 06:30 AM PDT
Today’s Gospel Text: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; 36 and a man’s foes will be those of his own household. 37 He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it. 40 “He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives him who sent me. 41 He who receives a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.” 11 And when Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in their cities. Matt 10:34-11:1
Reflection: How many of us may have played this little game with a small child of claiming their beloved parent as their own and watch for the child’s reaction.
What an endearing thing it is to see the child showing indignation or displeasure at such a claim.
The child will even defend or catch hold of the parent thus proving their love. For the parent too it is a beautiful sight to take pleasure in; a celebration of love!
This love for the parent may not always be manifested, as one grows old, in such fashion but it does get relocated into other relationships.
Therefore Jesus in a way communicates a comprehensive message when he says:
“He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” (vs. 37-38)
In other words we cannot have any love as our priority in life before the love for Jesus. Let God be first in our lives and every other love take the back seat.
It is not just a commandment or a selfish asking by Jesus but a legitimate demand which spells our own good.
We can never find our ultimate fulfillment and find stable happiness in anything, except in the permanent thing of life; Jesus Christ.
Hence Jesus is revealing to us, in his assertion, that in him we can find our fulfillment and happiness; a relationship which is real, possible, caring, providing and fulfilling and above all permanent.
We need to know the practical aspect of loving Jesus more than anything else in life and one way to do it is to put into practice the spiritual lifestyles of the saints.
Prayer: God our Father, teach us to put into practice the demands you make of us, so that we may be happy in this life and find eternal fulfillment in you.
DD = Dedicated Discipleship: Come grow in the Lord with us
Posted: 13 Jul 2013 10:17 AM PDT
Today’s Gospel Text: And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read?” 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have answered right; do this, and you will live.” 29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion, 34 and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed mercy on him.” And Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” Luke 10:25-37
Reflection: “A lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (vs.25)
The lawyer could have asked any other question under the sun or could have asked a question in keeping with his profession?
He could have asked Jesus as to how the knowledge of the law could help in bringing about a reign of justice, peace and brotherhood?
(The lawyers of Jesus’ time were not in any way the same as the legal lawyers of today but were scribes who were well versed with Mosaic Law and taught them to the people)
Yet, what was asked by the lawyer was a question which could either be looked at with skepticism and negativity or with a sense of respect and approval as being the right question which everyone must either ponder on or ask.
It could also be looked upon as a selfish question with self centered overtones; In other words, one could say that instead of bothering about relevant issues of society or justice issues, this man is concerned about his eternity.
One could even ask: Will a struggle done on behalf of the poor and marginalized not assure him a place in heaven, and more so, since he is a lawyer he should be familiar with matters of justice and struggle?
Yet, we could have such experts in our day with such a stance and they may even come across as wiser than Jesus because in their criticism they overrule all that Jesus says, not by explicit rejection of what Jesus says but by their misinterpretation of the teachings of Jesus.
But we are not to be so because in saving ourselves we could be better equipped to save others; for this saving of ourselves is primarily accomplished with Christ Jesus by our willful cooperation and through whom we receive the grace to even reach out in love for our neighbor.
Prayer: Lord, as I walk in your way, may I never lose sight of your salvific action in our lives which equips us to enter totally into your way of life.
DD = Dedicated Discipleship: Come grow in the Lord with us