Matthew 10: 34—11:1
‘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.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Personal Dying and Rising
There is an economic concept described as “creative destruction.” In summary, new economic development arises out of the destruction of a prior economic structure. This internal mechanism of capitalism is understood to reconfigure the means of production from older technologies to newer, from scarce resources to more efficient substitutes, and from outmoded products to current needs.
Jesus’ teachings in today’s Gospel passage could be interpreted through this lens of “creative destruction.” Jesus here upsets the social constructs in order to give focus to his mission. He moves people from worldly values and mores to a focus on what He teaches and preaches. Jesus’ saying that “whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” is a way of experiencing creative destruction: dying to self is the source of creating new life.
One key aspect of Ignatian spirituality is that of letting go of inordinate attachments. These worldly attachments – honors, riches, pride – may seem safe and desirable in our material world, but ultimately hold us back from “dying to self,” and thus from allowing God to create new life within and through us.
Where in my life do I seem to struggle to hold onto something, even when it would seem better to let it go?
Can I possibly imagine what new life God desires to create within me if only I can let go of some pet goal or personal objective – that is, to allow God’s Will to be done rather than my own will?
—Fr. Glen Chun, S.J. is minister of the Loyola University Jesuit Community, Chicago, and also serves on the vocations staff for the Chicago-Detroit Province of the Society of Jesus
Lord, whether this day be filled with abundant happiness, situations that weary my heart and mind, or events and encounters that are simply quite ordinary and routine, I will claim your gift the Spirit of God and the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Lord, you know the needs of my heart. Bless me with the gifts of the Spirit that will help me to serve the other regardless of my particular preoccupations. Infuse my spirit so I can share the fruits of your Spirit with the many people who will connect with me this day.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team