Readings for Monday July 12, 2010
First Reading: Isaiah 1:10-17
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 50
Gospel: Matthew 10:34-11:1
Jesus said to his Apostles: "Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one's enemies will be those of his household."
Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
"Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward, and whoever receives a righteous man because he is righteous will receive a righteous man's reward. And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because he is a disciple–amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward." (Mt 10:34-42)
After injustices and attacks on one's country, many men and women will typically enlist in the military to fight these injustices. Two big instances in the United States were Pearl Harbor during World War II, and after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Both of these events saw great destruction and the loss of many lives, and because of these injustices, many American men and women stepped up to answer the call to defend their country.
In today's gospel, Jesus is addressing His disciples asking them to answer the call. He is telling them that it will not be easy, for He did not come to bring peace, but rather the sword. This calling to life as a disciple will bring about many hardships; it will put them at odds with those closest to them, it will ask that they put God above everything else, and that they take up their cross daily and follow Christ. As you can see, this calling is not for the faint of heart. We can only imagine what was racing through the disciples minds at that time. I am sure that many of them at the time had thoughts of running away, but thankfully, by God's grace, they stayed and answered the call.
Jesus is asking us to answer the call as well. The truth is that our world is hurting, their is brokenness and injustices everywhere. We need to step up and answer the call to a faithful Christian life. It will be hard, and their will be many challenges and hardships along the way, but in the end will be a great reward. Jesus is quick to follow up His conditions of discipleship with the rewards that will come to those who step up and answer the call. It is the great reward of eternal life in heaven, which should be the goal of each of us.
We are each called to follow our Lord, may the Holy Spirit grant us the courage to step up and answer God's call each and every day of our lives.
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, thank you for all that you have blessed us with in our lives. Thank you for this great calling Lord, help us to step up and to be the faithful Catholics that you call us each to be. Lord, we praise you with all that we are, help increase our faith and to never hold back from you. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.