13th Sunday year A 2020

You are baptized into Christ, to live in newness of life.  Meaning to be dead to sin, and living for God.  You who are baptized share in the ministry of prophet, one who speaks for God, who speaks God’s messages.  In other words, a prophet speaks the truth about God.  As baptized members of the Body of Christ, you are to speak and live the truth of the gospel in everyday living.  That means to live as good examples of the gospel, to know and to speak truthfully and confidently the gospel, which is centered upon Jesus Christ.  But concerning that role and mission, Jesus says that anyone who prioritizes family, peace, security, even your own life, is not worthy of Him and the gospel.

Thus, these words of Jesus can sometimes be unsettling, almost as if family, friends, peace and security aren’t as important as we would think.  That isn’t true.  Good relationship with family and friends are very important.  Peace and security are wonderful blessings.  Your own life is important and precious.  And indeed, proper Christian living will enhance all of those good things.  But we must also remember that our primary mission our purpose, is to live to the gospel of Jesus Christ.  And a reminder of what that gospel is.  Loving and praising God, uniting yourself to the divine, loving others, charity, mercy, forgiveness, kindness, patience, defending life and promoting justice.

Jesus is making an important point.  The mission of the gospel cannot be compromised, because it is a mission to transform the world, to make present Jesus Christ here on earth, and preserve us for eternal life in heaven.  Everything in life dies or fades.  Yet everything in Christ is raised and restored eternally, including those we hold most dear; family, friends, peace and joyful fulfillment.  In other words, if you prioritize earthly things, including very good family relationships and blessings, over Christ, you will not only lose those things naturally, but you will also lose out on eternal rewards, meaning you’ll have nothing. 

If you make living in Christ the priority, then you will have all those relationships and blessings in eternity, plus much more.

The first step in all of this is of course to first allow yourselves to be transformed by the gospel, by the love and Jesus Christ in your life.  That itself is a process, but like anything else, something that we always continue to learn and grow and mature into.  And that is done through participating in the life of Christ; allowing yourself to be loved by God, making use of the sacraments, and by practicing love and charity. 

And I mean practicing.  If you wait until you simply feel like it, you won’t be doing much growing.  Practicing charity and love, making an effort to grow in knowledge and love and devotion toward God is a daily decision.  Wanting to do those things is good and helpful, and God gives us graces and consolations to do so.  But they are necessary to practice no matter what, because that is how the world is to be transformed by the gospel.  If you put in the time and devotion, God will work to make those efforts fruitful.  And in doing that, you will receive the rewards of your faithfulness; which is family, peace, joyful fulfillment, and life eternal.