Sunday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good; for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks. (cf. Lk 6:45)
Still today there is confusion on this figure of Jesus Christ. Some wish to fashion him as just a great teacher, espousing great moral truths on how one should live out one's life and treat one's neighbor. But Jesus did not leave room for such an interpretation. He, in fact, spoke in the person of God. Even religious teachers like Buddha, or Muhammad, or Confucius did not claim to be God. But Jesus did. Though some wish to present Jesus as purely a "human Christ," a teacher and great prophet, a thorough biblical understanding of Jesus points to Jesus as fully human and fully divine - that He is God Incarnate; Jesus is the Word made flesh - in whom humanity's salvation rests. For a brief and interesting reflection on today's Gospel reading, please read below. Peace be with you! From the Author, My Daily Bread: A Reason2bCatholic blog
LISTEN: Whoever does not take up his cross is not worthy of me. Whoever receives you, receives me.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 10:37-42
Jesus said to his apostles: “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 a righteous man 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 the little one is a disciple—amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward.”
The Gospel of the Lord
Some biblical commentators and theologians—especially in the past hundred years or so—have argued that the divinity of Jesus is clearly presented only in the Gospel of John and that the synoptic Gospels present a purely human Christ, a teacher and miracle worker perhaps, but not the Son of God. Nothing could be further from the truth. Saint John indeed presents the divinity of the Lord in relatively straightforward language—The Word became flesh; I and the Father are one; He who sees me sees the Father, etc.—but the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke are no less emphatic regarding Jesus’ divine nature, though they employ a different symbol system and mode of expression than John.
Matthew 10:37 is a striking example: Jesus said to his apostles, “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.” If a merely human figure said this, we would legitimately laugh him to scorn. To their great credit, neither the Buddha nor Muhammad nor Confucius ever said any such thing. But Jesus effectively declares, “you must love me more than you love even those you treasure most in the entire world.” And mind you, he doesn’t say, “you must love my teaching or you must love the God I proclaim more than these”; he says, “you must love me more than all of them.”
The only one who could legitimately make such a demand is the living God, the good that transcends anything in creation. Though he is stating his case a bit more obliquely and indirectly than John, Saint Matthew is teaching here, just as clearly, that Jesus is divine.
As published at A Light Unto My Path by Bishop Robert Barron, Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, at Magnificat, www.magnificat.net, June 28, 2020
Be not afraid! And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always. Holy Family pray for us. Amen.