Reflection of Scripture Thirteenth Sunday Gospel A Am I a true disciple?

By 11:14 AM

 Thirteenth Sunday Gospel A

Jesus said, “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; 

· Jesus' point is not rejection of family ties but greater loyalty to God. He is not contradicting the Fourth Commandment which states: “Honor your father and mother. It is a matter of priority. God is to be first in our life.

· How hard is that to do? It is easier to say than to do.

and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. 

· This is the first time in Mathew’s Gospel that the word “cross” is mentioned by Jesus. Yet, it is central to his teaching and life. He embraced it for our sake. Why do you think he makes this statement?

· Crucifixion was a form of capital punishment used by the Romans for criminals who were not Roman citizens.

· What constitutes the cross in our life at this time?

Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.  

· How do you understand this statement of Jesus?  Can I have real life without Jesus? For this to happen, what in my present way of living needs to be let go for that which is greater?

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. 

· In the eyes of many, even today, Jesus, a prophet and a righteous man, is looked upon as no extraordinary person.  Thus, to follow him and believe in him is not that important to them. Only those who believe in him and commit their lives to him receive the reward.

· What do you think this reward is?

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." 

· What are the conditions for discipleship laid out by Jesus in this reading?

· What part of this passage you find the hardest to fulfill now in your life?

· Even the smallest sign of kindness, mercy, compassion and love is promised a reward by Jesus.

· Recall the words of Jesus: “Whatever you do to the least, you do to me.” How conscious are we of Jesus’ presence in each person, beginning with our family?

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