Gospel: Mt 10:34 – 11:1
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 a 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 follow me, is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it; but whoever 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 my disciple, 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.
More things are piled up on the shoulders of those who choose to follow Jesus. It is as if pressures are calibrated to keep pace with our growing strengths. There seems to be no end in sight to all possible discomfort and pain one must be willing to take in order to be a disciple of Jesus. These probably are told in advance so that there will be no blaming afterwards when the going gets rough on the road to discipleship. Jesus wants His disciples to be wide- eyes with what they are signing into. He does not promise a life on a bed of roses. What He promises is a victorious glorious life in the end. He or she who desires that life must be ready to pay for what will happen in between.
Here in our Gospel of St. Matthew, Jesus talks about His final instructions to his apostles. Here, we see that to be an apostle of Jesus, we must be ready to make sacrifices. Jesus is telling us that if we love other people more – even those dear to us, such as our parents and children – then we are not worthy of Jesus Christ. Jesus tells us that there will be times when we have to give up our own life for the sake of His Kingdom.
We, as followers of Jesus Christ, must learn how to carry our own crosses. We have a lot of trials and difficulties in life, and we consider them as our crosses. But the most unbearable and hardest cross to carry is the cross of our own life, the cross of our own selves.