Only One Priority: for His Sake and Because of Him!

Missionary Weekly Reflection
Sunday, 28 June 2020
2Kings 4:8-11,14-16a; Ps. 89:2-3,16-17,18-19; Rom. 6:3-4,8-11; Mat. 10:37-42

Today’s gospel continues Jesus’ message and promise to His sent disciples (Matt. 10). Jesus emphasizes their special relationship and bond with Himself. The word I/Me is repeated 7 (perfect number) times! By this way, they are reminded that preaching the Gospel is the continuation of Jesus’ own mission. The mission shouldn’t be regarded as a hobby only, or for the sake of prestige or personal ambition. Proclaim the Good News must be done only for the sake of Him and because of Him! Those who are sent must have a close relationship with Jesus, the Sender. Of course this bond with Jesus does not mean their mission is free from problems. Just the opposite: the mission is full of challenges and risks. The first challenge is directly related to family and closest relatives. “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me” (v. 37). Matthew uses the more positive word, “to love” (Luke uses the hyperbole “don’t hate”), to emphasize that love for parents, families and relatives is neither diminished nor denied. However, there are moments when faith and task of proclaiming the Gospel conflict with family interests. In such case, Jesus emphasizes: the gospel interest must get the first priority. Indeed, it is not easy to carry out, but that is one of the crosses that must be carried by every Good News agent.

The task of Gospel proclaiming also sometimes conflicts with personal desires and interests. In such case too Jesus’ demand is clear: a Christian must be able to put his/her personal interests at second priority, even his/her own life: “whoever loses their life for My sake will find it” (v. 39b). When it comes to the options: Gospel or personal interests, faith or personal security; my priority and yours must stay clear: faith and proclaiming the Good News is our priority. Even, as a disciple of Christ, we must also be prepared to sacrifice ourselves as martyrs. Of course, not as a suicide-bomber martyr, but martyr who makes the Gospel’s message ‘booming’, so that we and others can have true life.

Jesus knows that sacrificing self and family interests is not easy. Therefore, He does not promise “future and over there” true life only. There are challenges and risks, but there are also promises and real hope. We can feel the blessing of that true life here and now. Why? Because, in addition to the resistance (from relatives, ourselves or others), the Gospel agents will also meet many people who receive and welcome them (vv. 41-42). Jesus ensures that our proclaiming will be welcome, and our needs will be sufficed. Those who receive the gospel and serve its agents will also receive a big reward. Why? For “Anyone who welcomes you welcomes Me, and anyone who welcomes Me welcomes the One who sent Me” (v. 40). That is the good news and assurance from Jesus to us, both as Gospel agents and the one who receives them.

(Hortensio Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society, Jakarta)

DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER

Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.

Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Church, I specially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:

For Evangelization intention:
Taking the path of inner heart: May the suffering brothers and sisters be able to find a living path which can lead them to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. We pray…

For Indonesian Churches intention:
For farmers: May the government and authorities have strong will to help and concern of the survival and welfare of the farmers. We pray…

Special Intention:
We join with the Blessed Heart of Jesus in order to sincerely and truly seek the justice for all our people. We pray… …

Amen

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