Homily for the thirteenth Sunday of the year
Year A - Mt. 10:37-42


by

Father Daniel Meynen
 
 

"Jesus said to his disciples: «He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.


" «He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives him who sent me. He who receives a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward, and he who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward. And whoever gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.» "





Homily:


"Jesus said to his disciples: «He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.» "


For about thirty years, Jesus lived in Nazareth, in Galilee, in the house of his parents, Joseph and Mary. Although Joseph was not his "biological" father, as we say today, Jesus always gave his father and mother a tender affection, an absolutely inexpressible filial love. Who, moreover, could love someone with a love more perfect than that of the Son of God in person? What man or woman on earth could love his or her parents more than Jesus did during his life? Truly, Christ was a perfect son to Joseph and Mary!


And yet, at the age of twelve, Jesus stayed in Jerusalem, in the Temple, among the teachers, in order to accomplish the Will of his Father in Heaven. In doing so, he caused his parents terrible pain, deep sorrow, a suffering that no father or mother should ever have to endure: "When they saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, 'Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously.'" (Lk. 2:48) But Jesus had to love his Heavenly Father more than he did his earthly parents, and this is why he replied in the following manner to Mary and Joseph: "How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?" (Lk. 2:49)


And you who are reading this today, what will you do? Do you not think that God calls you into his service? What have you already done for God in your life? Is it not time to prefer God to your father and mother, to your sons and daughters? The Lord needs you for his Church! It is time! Wait no longer! It is now or never! Who among you will be the next priest of the Lord, even if your father or mother have other plans for you? Who will be the next monk or nun who will leave his or her parents to gain brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ? Who will say "YES" to the Lord's call in the year 2002?


" «He who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.» "


Jesus said it: "A disciple is not above his teacher, but every one when he is fully taught will be like his teacher." (Lk. 6:40) In other words, every Christian must be another Christ! Thus, if Jesus bore his cross for the sins of men, then we too must bear our cross for the sins of men, and for our own sins in particular! But above all, if, after having undergone the trial of the cross, Jesus was resurrected from the dead, then we too will be resurrected, with Jesus and like Him, after having undergone the trial of the cross, that is, the trial of fidelity in accomplishing the Will of God!


Death and Resurrection are inseparable: "he who loses his life for my sake will find it." He who has given his life for Christ will regain his life for all eternity! For he who gives his life for the love of God is already resurrected in his soul, and this resurrection of the soul is the pledge of the resurrection of the body. This, moreover, is what is already realized when we communicate of the Eucharist: for he who is truly united to Jesus, present under the species of the bread and wine, receives the force and power of truly uniting himself to the sacrifice of Christ in view of the final resurrection. "This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die." (Jn. 6:50)


" «He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives him who sent me.» "


The message is clear: to receive a Christian because he is an envoy of God is to receive Christ himself! But, for this, the Christian must acknowledge himself to be an envoy of God, that is, to have been called by God to bring the Good News of Salvation in Jesus Christ to the entire world... And this is the problem: who will respond to God's call? Who will believe in this call and dare to proclaim the Word of God to the entire world? In a word, who will - like Mary, the Mother of Jesus - believe "that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord" (Lk. 1:45)?


" «He who receives a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward, and he who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward. And whoever gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.» "


If God calls you into his service, look at how much good you can accomplish with the help of his grace! All who will receive you as a servant of the Lord will be rewarded by God himself! Is this not wonderful? Is this not an extraordinary service that you can provide to those around you? So who would still hesitate? Who would not rush to consecrate himself to God for his entire life, knowing that he can accomplish so much good for the entire world? Where is the noble heart that would betray itself by refusing to hear the Lord's call?


To follow Jesus is something easy to do, for the grace of God is all-powerful! He who receives Jesus in the sacrament of the Eucharist, with a profound faith and with great charity, cannot hesitate to follow the Master, and go wherever he is told to go! May the Most Blessed Virgin Mary intercede for all those who will receive communion today, in order that the Holy Spirit might guide them and enlighten them, that they might accomplish his Will! Amen !




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