Gospel Reflection – 13th Sunday in Ordinary time – Cycle A

We monks feel close to today’s Gospel Acclamation:
Open our heart, O Lord,
to accept the words of your Son.
We ask for this grace every day, several times a day. Remaining open to Christ is not easy, because we must subdue some of our human instincts to judge or to place our minds on less worthy enterprises. Remaining open is our key to develop into Christ’s love, to attain the kingdom of Heaven.
We monks have also made sacrifices. We read today’s Gospel and wonder at the apparent ruthlessness of Jesus’s words. But let us look at Christ’s sacrifice. It was by no means half hearted and he did it for us.
There are many sacrifices we can make each day for the love of God, that we may remain open. Being the receptors of God’s love is what we are created for. Picking up his message on the wavelengths of humanity and nature, and making ourselves open to him… This is our life’s work.
If we are to find this new way of living according to Christ, some of what we do must fall by the wayside. We must reassess our priorities. When we pray, we may ask ourselves what it is that we can leave behind, what it is that we can redact in order to let Jesus into our hearts. And also, what more we can do, what we can take on.
Jesus instructed the Twelve as follows:
‘Anyone who prefers father or mother to me is not worthy of me. Anyone who prefers son or daughter to me is not worthy of me.
Anyone who does not take his cross and follow in my footsteps is not worthy of me.
Anyone who finds his life will lose it; anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it.
Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me; and those who welcome me welcome the one who sent me.
Anyone who welcomes a prophet will have a prophet’s reward; and anyone who welcomes a holy man will have a holy man’s reward.
‘If anyone gives so much as a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is a disciple, then I tell you solemnly, he will most certainly not lose his reward.’
The Gospel of the Lord.