June 28, 2020
Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time A
Fr. Ed Smith
2 Kings 4:8-11, 14-16a; Romans 6:3-4, 8-11; Matthew 10:37-42
Our Gospel for this last Sunday of June is a bit daunting, if not downright scary. Jesus seems to be saying: “Whoever does this”, or “Whoever does not do that” is going to be in big trouble! In fact, we read the word “whoever” 10 times in this short passage of St. Matthew’s Gospel. What is going on here? Why so many? Perhaps this word is reiterated so often in these verses in order to wake us up to the fact that WE are the “whoever” that Jesus is talking about. WE have to be ready to leave what might seem to be the most important things in life in order to follow Him, as He left His home in Nazareth to follow His Father’s will. WE must be willing to take up our crosses and follow Jesus in order to be His disciples. WE even have to be ready to lose our life for His sake in order to find it. Admittedly, these are a lot of demands on us, we the “whoevers” to whom Jesus is speaking. In the end, He wants us to be missionaries of our faith, to live it out each day, and to embrace Jesus as the center of our lives. This means making choices, day after day, that bring us closer and closer to Him and His mission of proclaiming the Good News. And what is our “reward” that He speaks of at the end of this passage? It is a life filled with meaning, hope, peace and love. It is the reward of knowing we have completed a job well done. It is the promise of an eternity of joy in the presence of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Maybe, knowing this, we are a bit more willing to be the “whoever” Jesus is talking about. We don’t have to be afraid, because He wants only the best for us, and is ready to give it to us, now and forever!