By Jim Orcutt, Co-Founder of My Brother's Keeper

These personal reflections on the Monday gospel represent my insight of Christ’s message as viewed through the lens of my life experience. It is my hope that others will be inspired to reflect upon their views as well.
Date: July 15, 2019
July 15, 2019

Gospel MT 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.”

When Jesus finished giving these commands to his Twelve disciples,
he went away from that place to teach and to preach in their towns.

Reflection:

“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.”

It is not Jesus’ intent to cause strife and division, but He wants us to understand that we may have to make difficult choices as a result of love.

Many a man has refused to leave his family to fight in a noble cause because of love for his wife and children.
Many a mother has forgone the opportunity to go on the “trip of a lifetime” rather than leave a sick child at home.

Love calls us to make unselfish choices. Yet, at the same time, love gives us the greatest rewards.

“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.”

Love of God is the most demanding love of all. It summons us to carry the cross of sacrifice, to pursue a life of selflessness.

But, it is through sacrifice that we “find” the life of authentic joy that comes from giving of oneself for the sake of another. It is a joy we will experience in the present day as well as in the life to come.

“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.”

Jesus is telling us that the manner in which we receive Him is the same as if we were receiving God the Father who sent Him.

We are not all prophets, and we may be less than righteous.
But, if we accept and embrace Jesus’ message not to judge but to love one another, then we will receive the “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.”

In using the term “one of these little ones,” Jesus is referring to both the innocent and the lost who hunger to know the love of God.
If we quench their thirst for knowledge of God’s love, we surely will secure our own reward.

“The sign of true love is to experience the joy that comes from sacrificing your own happiness for the sake of the one you love.”  Unknown



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