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 16, 2018
July 16, 2018

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:

In today’s gospel Jesus is speaking to His apostles. These are the men He chose to go out and preach the Good News and teach others His message to love God and love one another.

Our Lord does not mince words: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword.”

The idea of turning the other cheek, loving one’s enemies as well as responding to hate with love goes against human nature.

Jesus did not want His apostles to sugarcoat what those who chose to follow Him may experience.

Jesus goes on to tell them,

“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.”

To be a follower of Jesus Christ may be a very costly decision. Jesus wants us to be sure that if we decide to follow Him, we do so with our eyes wide open.

When we choose to stand on one side or the other, there will be those who are against us. Whether its a political party, social issues of the day or a religious viewpoint, we can expect opposition even within our own families.

But Jesus does not leave it there. He goes on to assure His apostles of what He has in store for those who follow Him.

“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.”

Jesus does not impose Himself upon us, but He promises joy and serenity of mind and heart to those whose choose to follow His path of love and peace.

When of our own free will we choose to bear our crosses and follow Jesus Christ, there also will be great reward.

“If we hope to reap the rewards we must be willing to accept the hardships.” Unknown



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