Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s foes will be members of one’s own 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 the cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.
Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their 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.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Today’s gospel story may sound extreme or harsh upon first reading but when I can step back and ask “what is the invitation?” I can hear God/Jesus asking me if I am “all in”. Is God first in my life? By first, I think Jesus means “is he my focus?” Do I look to him to find meaning in my life? Jesus gives us some extreme examples; Jesus should be before son, daughter, mother, father. I think this is to emphasis the point that nothing should come before Christ in our life. So I invite you to take some time today to examine your life. What gets in the way of Christ for you? To answering his call that you be “all in?”
—Amy Hoover, spiritual director and a frequent spiritual writer, is Director of the Creighton University Retreat Center, located in Griswold, IA.
Lord, whether this day be filled with abundant happiness, situations that weary my heart and mind, or events and encounters that are simply quite ordinary and routine, I will claim you. Infuse my spirit so I can share the fruits of your Spirit with the many people who will connect with me this day.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team