Monthly Archives: July 2011
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Psalter: Week 3
Benedict • 15th Week in Ordinary Time
Ps 124:1b-3, 4-6, 7-8
Our help is in the name of the Lord.
1st Reading: Ex 1:8–14, 22
Then a new king who had not known Joseph came to power and said to his people, “The Israelites are more numerous and stronger than we are. Let us deal warily with them lest they increase still more and, in case of war, side with our enemy, fight against us and escape from the land.” So they set task-masters over them to oppress them with forced labor. In that way they built the storage towns of Pithom and Rameses. But the more they oppressed the Hebrews the more they increased and spread, until the Egyptians dreaded the Israelites and became ruthless in making them work. They made life bitter for them in hard labor with bricks and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields. In all their work the Egyptians treated them harshly.
Pharaoh then gave this order to all the people: “Every infant boy born to the Hebrews must be thrown into the Nile, but every girl may live.”
Gospel: Mt 10:34—11:1
Jesus said to his apostles, “Do not think that I have come to establish peace on earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father and daughter against her mother; a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. Each one will have as enemies those of one’s own family.
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 come after me is not worthy of me. One who wants to benefit from his life will lose it; one who loses his life for my sake will find it.
Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes him who sent me. The one who welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive the reward of a prophet; the one who welcomes a just man because he is a just man will receive the reward of a just man. And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones, because he is a disciple of mine, I assure you, he will not go unrewarded.”
When Jesus had finished giving his twelve disciples these instructions, he went on from there to teach and to proclaim his message in their towns.
Make no mistake! Jesus is never against loving our parents. Jesus merely points out that following him entails radical love that calls for a radical commitment. It is a commitment to love Him and the cause of His Kingdom “more than” anyone or anything. This radical love for Jesus materially manifests in our will to carry our own crosses and sacrifice for others. This is not easy but it is possible. Jesus also left his family in order to serve the greater cause of the Kingdom. He did that for us when he embraced all our wounds and offered himself as a ransom for our salvation. His was a radical choice which sprung from a radical love. We are invited to do the same.