Resources - 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time
A: Matt 10:37-42 - The demands and rewards of discipleship - 13th Sunday in Ordinary
On first reading of
this passage the words of Jesus may seem rather harsh. It is worth remembering
that Matthew's community was experiencing persecution and many members were being
subjected to division in their families where mother or brother may have chosen
to remain Jewish and have refused to accept the teachings of Jesus. Faced with
division in this most fundamental relationship, the family, Jesus is making his
claim for absolute allegiance from his disciples.
is aware that this is a difficult choice but Jesus is also aware of the importance
of the message he brings from the Father. Jesus has been working to bring the
Basileia or Reign of God into the reality of the disciples lives and there is
urgency to his mission. Jesus is instructing his disciples so that they can do
their part to bring forth God's Kingdom.
we hear that "anyone who finds their lives will lose it" it is worth
reflecting on what this can mean and perhaps it points to the self-centredness
or myopia of so much of our world where individualism and self satisfaction become
the goal of a person's life. When we lose this myopia, we can see other people
and other needs and as disciples we would then respond to their needs because
they are children of God.
with these demands, there are rewards and there are echoes of the Great Judgement
(25:31-46) in the rewards Jesus speaks of when insists that "anyone who welcomes
you, welcomes me
and the one who sent me." This message is very relevant
to each of us today because too frequently we can forget that when we are dealing
with the person next to us we are dealing with God. If we kept this at the forefront
of our minds our actions would be most carefully considered.
we could start with something as simple as a God loves you sticker on our car
which should limit our horn blowing or abuse at the driver who is obviously thinking
about something else and instead of a blast they get and smile and a wave - it
would mean the end of 'road rage.' Perhaps a kind comment to the person who queue
jumps instead of 'death stares' and vague 3rd person comments that let that queue
jumper know how annoyed you are. Perhaps a kind 'thank you' or empowering statement
to the young person who serves you may help them get through a difficult day.
These are only little things that any of us can do perhaps you can think of some
bigger challenges in your relationships that deserve having God at their centre.
Year C: Luke 9:51-62
- 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time
is on his journey to Jerusalem with his disciples. Jesus knows what is ahead of
him in Jerusalem and so uses this time of the journey as a time of teaching. When
his messengers were rejected by the Samaritan villagers, the disciples wanted
to "call fire down from heaven" in other words, cause violence against
these people. Jesus "turned and rebuked them" two strong, firm responses
to reject violence. Some people find violence, through word or action, to be a
most acceptable response to rejection. Bullying in the workplace, or family, is
not uncommon. Jesus is teaching another way of handling relationships, even if
these relationships are fleeting. Jesus is teaching a particular 'mindset' a life-giving
response, rather than a response that leads to hatred, sin and a deterioration
hear of three people who are thinking of following Jesus, of becoming a disciple.
The responses made by Jesus are interesting and could appear hard hearted or dismissive
of the priorities in the lives of different people. Jesus uses strong language
and even sounds uncaring. It is important to understand the literary style employed
by the evangelist. These words are not meant to be taken literally. It is more
important that we look for the meaning and reasoning behind the words. Throughout
the Gospels, Jesus is passionate in his teaching of the Reign of God, or Kingdom
of Heaven. We frequently hear of Jesus speaking to the disciples or crowds who
followed him explaining what the Kingdom of God is like. This is the reason for
his preaching, and his mission to bring about this Kingdom. This is why Jesus
uses firm language. The first priority in our lives must be God's presence. The
urgency of total commitment to bringing about the Reign of God comes through Jesus'
The demands of our
discipleship can be quite difficult. We are meant to be people of peace, this
is God's gift to us. That means that in our dealings with people we seek peaceful
solutions. Each day, our priority must be God - that means that we seek to spend
time in prayer, that we contribute to building up the Kingdom of God, that we
think carefully about what we say, that we choose live-giving activities, and
that we live fully as a child of God.
Ministry Resources 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time
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