Sunday, Jun. 28th 2020

Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

 

Today's Mass Readings

 

After reading today’s selected passages, I thought about the promises God makes and how they are fulfilled. God has promised us His love for all ages. We tend to make promises to God. We also tend to break or not honor those promises. God’s promises toward us are not dependent on our success in keeping ours to Him. God promises and never takes back His love for us.

We find promises made and kept throughout today’s readings. Elisha, the apprentice of the prophet Elijah, now continues his prophetic journey. He meets a prominent woman in Shumen who invites him to dine at her house. He thus starts a friendship with her family, and he would stay at their house when passing through the area. He comes to learn that she has no children and her husband is getting older. He promises her that she will have a child within a year, and this promise is kept.

In Paul’s reading today, he declares that we must share in the death of Jesus. We do this to also share in the life of Jesus. We truly cannot partake in this life as long as we remain in sin. We are called to die to sin so as to have new life in Christ. This “dying to sin” is a lifelong battle, and one that must be fought with patience. God doesn’t condemn us for being flawed. He calls us to keep up the fight so that sin will have “no more power” over our lives. This battle is long and challenging. It is not won all at once. We can be discouraged when we progress and then fall back. We feel conflicted when we want to be just. Do not be discouraged.

In the Gospel today, Jesus promises an award to those who are just. Good deeds done in life will always receive a just reward from God. Jesus promises an award to those who are “just.” Jesus will not leave them abandoned. Jesus also promises the cross to His followers, and that we are not to love anyone or anything more than Him. These seem like hard statements, and they are to some extent. Jesus still is giving us the best of all promises. In Baptism, as Paul said, we are “buried with Christ.” We are called “to live a new life” by our Baptism and life in the Church. This new life cannot take place without embracing the Cross of Christ. Life will always have its share of “crosses” to bear for everyone. We can bare them because we love Christ above all else. Thus, Jesus’ promise of the Cross is not a morbid proposition. It is, quite frankly, the best promise we will ever hear. Let’s not avoid it. Let’s embrace it.

Question: Simply put, are you afraid of taking up the Cross? What scares you? Do you believe in the promise we hear of having new life in Christ? Are you prepared to live totally by the promise of Eternal Life in Christ?

Reflection by Br. Matthew Marie, OSB

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