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.
Now when Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and proclaim his message in their cities.
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.
Years ago, I heard a preacher make this statement: “You can choose the road you take, but you cannot choose where that road takes you.” In the Spiritual Exercises, the Two Standards meditation asks that we choose the one whose side we will take: Christ’s or the devil’s. And in this passage of Matthew, Jesus is saying, “Make up your mind. Are you with me? If you’re with me, that will determine everything else.”
In following Christ, it will seem at times that we have forsaken other loves and commitments. But the way itself transforms us. While it would seem that I should choose my loved ones before all else, in choosing Christ before even my loved ones, I abide in the One who empowers me to love my loved ones more faithfully, effectively, and graciously.
Today, do I choose Christ? Have I made up my mind?
—Vinita Wright serves as Managing Editor, New Product Development at Loyola Press, Chicago, IL. Click here to enjoy Loyola Press’s “31 Days with St. Ignatius,” a month-long celebration of Ignatian spirituality in honor of St. Ignatius’ Feast Day on July 31. Content includes articles, blog posts, and videos to help you learn about and apply the principles of Ignatian spirituality.
Love consists in sharing what one has
and what one is
with those one loves.
Love ought to show itself in deeds
More than in words.
—St. Ignatius Loyola