Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary time – Year A

by Fr Onyango IMC
Click here for Sunday’s readings

2 Kings 4:8-11,13-16
Psalm 89:2-3,16-17,18-19
Romans 6:3-4,8-11
Matthew 10:37-42

Theme: The Cost of Discipleship!

In the gospel today Jesus teaches us about the cost of discipleship; the Lord did not lie to his disciples that following him would be easy; he did not sweet talk them so as to lure them to himself; he told them the truth from the onset and left it to them to make a choice either to follow him or to walk away. It was a choice they had to personally make after they had known what to expect. In the gospel, he mentions some of his expectations of those who would like to follow him. He says: ‘He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me – he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me – he who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it!’

It might sound like Jesus is encouraging hatred towards one’s parents or children but certainly this is not the case. The Lord is trying to makes us aware that following him calls for sacrifice and some of the sacrifices we embrace in our following Jesus will set us against our family, friends and relatives. Christianity demands a unique commitment and love for God doesn’t need limitation; he expects us to love him with all our heart and mind and concretise this love in our service of others. It is this kind of commitment that will sometimes demand that we choose between the closest ties we have here on earth and the Lord whom we want to serve. In Christianity there is always the presence of the cross that we will have to carry and there is also the sacrifice of our wills because we won’t always do what we like but what Christ likes!

However, Jesus also speaks about the beauty of following him: ‘whoever receives you, receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me’. The Lord has willed that the world meets him through us and so by following him, we carry an identity that is beyond our own; if we travel, preach, teach or heal it is Christ whose work will be done through our hands. By becoming Christians therefore, we become God’s instruments and so God works in us and through us! Through us the world gets an opportunity to meet Christ and so we enjoy both the privilege and responsibility to make Christ visible. May the Lord always bless the work of our hands! Amen.