Sunday, June 26, 2005
Today's Gospel: June 26, 2005
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Preface: All Scripture references I use are from the Douay-Rheims Bible.

In today's Gospel, Jesus prepares the disciples (soon to be apostles) to go forth and proclaim the Gospel to all creatures. The Gospel message is one clear and decisive one: God must be first in our lives. As scripture states "Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6:33) Also, scripture states, "For where thy treasure is, there is thy heart also" (Matthew 6:21). Is your heart in Heaven where thieves and fire may not destroy it forever?

Today's Gospel:

"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" (Matthew 10:37-42).

Quite clearly we must put God at the forefront of our lives. But how so? If you wish to bring this love of God in your life you first must pray. Prayer is the raising of our hearts and minds to God, and without prayer we cease to be in connection with God's love. We must follow Christ, and to follow Christ we must put Him first in all our daily actions. Look clearly to the saints. There are many saints, and they all served God and are reminders of the beauty of serving. Do not hide from God as God already knows what will occur but go to him in supplication and praise Him for giving you life from mere dust of the ground.

Part of the prayer attributed to St. Francis of Assisi states, "Grant that we may not so much seek to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive, in pardoning that we are pardoned, and dying that we are born again to eternal life." Do you love God so much you put Him first? If so then you can do all things through his love (Philippians 4:13).

On this topic, St. Maximilian Kolbe comes to my mind as he died a Catholic priest at Auschwitz concentration camp. St. Maximilian Kolbe died as a martyr for the faith in the concentration camp where he offered to take the place of a father condemned to death so the condemned man could be spared. Instead of St. Kolbe being led to the gas chambers along with several other prisoners who had been chosen to die, he was starved to death for over 3 weeks. He finally died by receiving a lethal injection. St. Kolbe showed unwavering love and exists as one of the greatest examples of commitment to Christ's words: "As I have loved you so should you love one another".

Today he lives in joy in the splendor of Heaven with the Divine Trinity for all the ages to come. Even after Christ's horrible passion, Jesus Christ said, "Peace be with you!" Imagine that Christ, after dying for men that hardly cared, has joy pouring from Him as a fountain. Through God comes this joy.

That is what service does: it makes us love God and our neighbor. I strongly recommend daily Mass & rosary, reading your Bible, showing love to all peoples, and observing the time-honored Traditions of the Catholic Faith. When we do kindness to anyone, no matter how small or helpless, we do the act to Jesus himself. Jesus said: "Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me" (Matthew 25:40).

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