Monday 12 July 2021
Today is Monday the 12 July, in the Fifteenth Week of Ordinary Time.
David James, with the Sixteen Orchestra, conducted by Harry Christophers, sings the aria from Handel's Messiah: But who may abide the day of his coming? And who shall stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner's fire.
Today's reading is from the Gospel of Matthew.
Jesus said, 'Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one's foes will be members of one's own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. 'Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet's reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.' Now when Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and proclaim his message in their cities.
Many find these words of Jesus to be some of the most difficult in the Scriptures. He demands a lot, some might feel he asks for too much of his followers. How far are you willing to go in order to do what God wants of you?
It's easy to focus on what is demanded of us in the first half of the reading – the family relations that it seems we won't be able to enjoy. But the second half of the reading encourages us to welcome others – what does this suggest to you?
As you listen again listen to how many times Jesus says the words 'welcome' and 'loved.'
In the last few moments of prayer, enter into a conversation with God – what in your life is he asking you to give up, so that you can welcome others?
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.