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Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Yesterday's Gospel: Following Jesus

July 17, 2006
Monday in the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Here is yesterday's Gospel reading:

Jesus said to his Apostles: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s enemies will be those of his 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 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 righteous 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 he is a disciple— amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his 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.

Matthew 10:34-11:1

Remember Jesus didn't come to intentionally bring disorder. His message was one of love and redemption and for that His own people crucified Him. We all see it - sinners enjoy the darkness for the "...people have loved the darkness rather than and more than the Light, for their works were evil" (John 3:19). It is our responsibility to take up all of our Crosses and sufferings and follow after Our Lord anyway. It is our obligation to serve Him if we are to be graced with eternal life. This reading shows us that we must follow Our Lord - we are not saved by Faith-alone. We all must serve Our Lord no matter what obstacles lie in our path - look at the Example of the Martyrs.

My priest told this story in a homily before. There was a young woman that felt the deepest calling to become Catholic; however, her father hated Catholicism and forbid her to convert. But she followed Our Lord anyway. Finally, a few years later, he began to speak to her again. But, more than that, she then felt Our Lord's calling to become a nun. Her father said that if she entered a convent, he would never visit her - she would never see him again if she did. But she followed Our Lord anyway. Finally, years later, the father came to the convent and sat in the guest area waiting for his daughter. The conversation he had with the nuns there truly opened his mind and he began to respect Our faith.

We have to remember that not everyone will accept the message of Jesus. But, no matter what anyone else says, we must accept and follow Our Lord.

Image Source: Christ Cleansing the Temple by Bernardino Mei


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