2 Kings 4:8-12a, 14-17 Rom 6:3-4, 8-11 Mat 10:37-42.
Theme: God Rewards our Generosity
On this 13th Sunday of the year, our liturgy reminds us about the fact that generosity and self-giving is a wonderful attribute that we need in our lives as children of God. This is an idea that is found in our readings today. Any good action that we perform has a reward attached to it from God. Interestingly, many people in our world today are more comfortable with collecting from others, rather than giving. The popular saying that “it is more blessed to give than to receive” has lost its meaning for many people in recent times. This brings us to a very important question, on what side of the divide do you belong; do you collect more or you give more? Our readings encourages us today to be givers instead of receivers. Always remember that there is no one who is too poor to have something to share with another.
In the 1st reading of this Sunday, we see the generosity of the woman towards the prophet Elisha. She was generous to the prophet without expecting anything from him. But she was blessed by God through the intercession of the prophet Elisha. The gift of a son that she did not have until the visit of the prophet. As Christians and children of God, we have a lot to learn from the action of both the woman and the prophet Elisha. The woman took the initiative to be generous to the prophet, and the prophet also took the initiative to intercede for her to God for something she needed. This brings us to an important question, do you give generously or you have a request attached to your generousity? It is common knowledge today that requests are attached to kind gestures. It could be for promotion in a place of work, it could be in getting a job, it could be just to stand for the truth and so forth. The action of the woman in today’s 1st reading should help us have a rethink.
Jesus in the gospel makes it clear that if we truly want to be his disciple, then he should be placed higher than any other thing in our lives. By so doing, we can be rest assured of getting what matters most in our lives. Is there anything in your life that has taken the place of the Almighty God? This is a question that we need to answer as individuals. Today Jesus is saying that we should not allow anything to take his place in our lives. There are different things that have taken Gods place in our lives. They take all our time and we have no time for God. Today’s gospel reading presents us the opportunity to reflect along this line.
In the gospel also, Jesus also talks about the need for us to carry our cross and follow him. The cross symbolizes our Christian journey, it is a necessity that we cannot do without; no matter how hard we try. The most important thing is the disposition with which we embrace the cross. Always remember, in the cross is our peace and salvation. We need to always make our journey of faith in the company of God and it will be well with us.
Lastly, Jesus talks about the need for us to support the messengers of God, just like the woman in the 1st reading of today did. Interestingly, Jesus ends his speech by saying that a reward awaits all those who practice this in their lives. However, we should be generous because it is good and not because we expect a reward; lest we will be disappointed by people. As for God, he is ever faithful to his promises.
All these things will be realizable if we embrace the newness of life that St. Paul talks about in his letter to the Romans in today’s 2nd reading. By virtue of our baptism, we died with Christ and through his resurrection we are raised with him. Thus embracing the newness of life that will enable us to live our lives like the true children of God that we are called to be.
May God grant us the grace to embrace this newness of life. Peace be with you. Amen.