• 13th Sunday of Ordinary Time

    Posted on July 1, 2017 by in Reflections on Sunday Gospels

    What does my life say about what my baptismal certificate signifies?


        Introduction:   Today’s readings confront us with the question: 

    What does it mean to be a disciple?  We get two broad answers to that

    question.  In the first reading we hear of the woman who receives the

    prophet and practices the virtue of hospitality.  In the Gospel we have

    a collection of the sayings of Jesus which name four aspects of being a



    Homily:  In today’s first reading we hear the story of the woman who

    welcomed Elisha.  This reading accents her hospitality.  In the book of

    Kings the story is further developed and we see different sides of this

    woman.  When her son dies later she is very aggressive and determined in

    pursuing the prophet.  But in this reading she is an example of

    hospitality.  Hospitality is something that we know immediately when we

    are recipients of it.  Priests who visit homes come as a representative

    of the Church. They meet many people who are experts

    in hospitality.  They make you feel at home.  The words mi casa es su

    casa are not just a formality but a reality.  A couple of weeks ago I

    heard Bernard Cooke, a theologian speaking about the early church

    welcoming prophets.  He said that the prophet would be welcomed and

    invited to eat with the people.  But if after a couple of days the

    prophet did not pitch in with the dishes or other tasks he would be

    informed:  There is another house down there who needs a prophet. 

    Hospitality is not to encourage free loading or people taking advantage

    of us.

        In the Gospel Jesus give us four sayings to challenge our


     First point.  If we love father or mother, son or

    daughter more than God we are not worthy of Jesus.  In the ideal

    situation, family helps us to live the Christian life.  They help us to

    love God first and above all.  A problem arises when family is

    leading us away from practicing the Christian life.  “Everybody is doing

    it and so can we.”  The reality is that many things that Everybody is

    doing are wrong and sinful. 

    Second point.  We must take up the cross and follow Jesus. 

    Jesus was aware of the severity of the cross, a punishment

    for the worst criminals, a Roman punishment. But he did not

     shy from telling us that the cross needs to be part of our life.

      He not only spoke of the cross but died on the cross.

    Third point. If we want to gain our life we must lose it,

    to gain the life in this world is to lose it in the next.  

    This is a bit of a paradoxical statement.  But it points to the

     fact that the present material reality is not all there

    is.  We believe in spiritual realities.  We must do nothing to lose

    sight of our God.

     Fourth point. The gift of a cold drink of water given

    in Jesus name will not go without reward.  These words can be understood

    literally.  But they can also be understood figuratively.  Is there

    someone asking something of me, fairly insignificant, that I can give in

    Jesus name.

        We have certificates that we treasure in our lives, high school

    diploma, further degrees.  Doctors, Dentists have their licenses up on

    their walls.  As Christians we also have a certificate that we cherish our

    baptismal certificate.  But that certificate is not the proof of our

    being disciples of Jesus.  We must measure our life and actions against

    the teachings of Jesus.  As the Gospel of Matthew continues we will

    notice that the miracles of Jesus will decrease and more people will be

    making the choice to reject Jesus.  This can also happen to us. 

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