(Mt 10: 34- 11:1)
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.
There is no room for compromise in following Jesus.
The Gospel reading reminds me of a distant relative who was disowned by her family because she decided to become a Catholic. Her parents, siblings and other relatives tried their best to dissuade her but she remained firm in her decision to be baptized in the Catholic faith. A few year later, she decided to enter the convent and became a religious sister. This really infuriated her parents that they stripped her of the inheritance due her. This, however, did not discourage her from pursuing her religious vocation.
Those who commit themselves to Jesus and His mission are expected to make Him and His Kingdom the first priority. All others are secondary. Their relationship with God is the foundation of all other relationships. This is best exemplified by David’s close friend Jonathan, son of King Saul. Because of envy and jealousy, Saul hated David and wanted him eliminated. One day Saul ordered his son to betray David but Jonathan refused. He followed his conscience, the “voice of God,” rather than his father. Our loyalty to family ends where loyalty to Christ begins. St. Peter said it so well, “We must obey God rather than men.”
Daily Gospel 2017