While Jesus' words may seem harsh in this Gospel where he tells his followers to leave their families in order to spread the Good News, he simply stresses the value of being a missionary. Whatever our sacrifice, our reward will be great beyond measure.
Reflection for Families
As parents we spend most of our missionary work offering a cup of cold water to our children. That is to say our actions are not great feats, rather they are the simple and ordinary ways we live our lives doing simple but good deeds that witness the present and coming Kingdom of God. We shouldn't worry that we don't know a lot of theology to pass on to our children. What we pass on to them in our everyday living out of our beliefs is far greater.
Bringing the Gospel Into Your Family
For one week, have each family member keep track of strangers they encounter–either in check-out lines, waiting for something (elevator, bus, to cross the street, etc.). Be proactive in welcoming these people to God's Kingdom. Maybe you let them in, on, or across first. Perhaps you smiled and greeted them with friendly words. If they needed assistance, you came forward. At the end of each day, share these experiences as a family. Lift up those strangers in your family's evening prayers.
- One thing our family always does to help people feel welcome is . . .
- The person I love to visit most is . . . because . . .
- One person (or group of people) that is hard for me to welcome is . . . because . . .
Feast Day: July 1
This saint and his fellow Franciscan friars built twenty-one missions throughout California in the 1700s and you can still visit them all to this day!
Why do Catholics have incense, beads, crucifixes, and all that "stuff"?
One can tell a lot about a family by the way they welcome others into their home. Despite parental efforts to elicit the best behavior from their children, family efforts to entertain guests are sometimes difficult. Practicing a spirit of Christian hospitality within the family can be an occasion to reflect upon the importance of this virtue. A family spirit of hospitality is a sign of faith.
When your family gathers, ask each person to consider the following questions about manners: What does it mean to be a good host? What does it mean to be a good guest? Invite each person to share their thoughts and experiences about being a guest or a host. When they have finished, read aloud today’s Gospel, Matthew 10:37-42.
Ask family members to describe what Jesus says about hospitality extended to his disciples. (Those who receive Jesus’ disciples also receive Jesus himself; hospitality to Jesus’ disciples will be rewarded.) Then encourage family members to talk about what it means to be a good guest or a good host. You might also talk about ways in which your family’s hospitality might be improved upon. Conclude in prayer together that your family grows to be one in which Christian hospitality is experienced by all. Pray together the Lord’s Prayer or today’s Psalm.
[from Loyola Press Sunday Connection]