Daily Gospel Reflection – Monday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Bishop Robert Barron
July 17, 2023
Monday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Gospel: 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.
*United States Conference of Catholic
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, in today’s Gospel, the Lord explains what it means to become a disciple. Once we make the decision to follow Jesus, then every other claimant to supremacy must fall away. Every one of us has something that we consider greatest. Perhaps it is money, material things, power, the esteem of others, your country, your political party, or your ethnic identity. Or perhaps it is your family, your kids, your wife, your husband.
Now mind you, all of these are good things. However, when you place any of them in the absolute center of gravity, things go awry. When you make any of them your ultimate or final good, your spiritual life goes haywire. When you attach yourself to any of them with an absolute tenacity, you will fall apart.
This is what Jesus means in our Gospel for today: not that you should hate your family or country or wealth, but rather that you should detach yourself from them lest they become idols. And only if we do this are we truly ready for mission. If we try to do this work while we are stuck to any number of attachments, we will fail. Period.