June 28: Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time. Readings: 1. 2 Kings 4:8-11,14-16; Psalm: 89; 2. Romans 6:3-4,8-11; Gospel: Matthew 10:37-42.
God’s Word, spoken by his chosen agent, takes centre-stage in these readings. And through it we see into a feature of the faith that needs some elucidation.
Elisha’s encounter with the wealthy woman in 2 Kings illustrates the very point. The welcome this woman gives to the prophet is an occasion for insight and blessing. Despite all appearances, there is something lacking in the woman’s life. And so, when she recognises that Elisha is a man of God, she is shocked to hear she will soon bear a son, a gift from God. Put simply, this story points to the benefits God wishes to visit upon his people.
In the passage from Romans, Paul’s message is impressively expressed. It concerns the kind of life God wishes to offer us all. For it is through the act of baptism that we come to share in the divine life, a precious gift made possible by Christ’s death and Resurrection. God’s extraordinary outreach to us through Christ is therefore brought to our attention, so that we might remember the gift with constancy and due thankfulness.
Jesus, in Matthew today, eloquently sets out a range of responses for every disciple to consider as part and parcel of Christian life. Fundamentally, this is a call to become ever more committed to the mission of proclaiming the Good News. This is quite a demanding call, in fact. For what Jesus outlines requires a degree of dedication that might not automatically strike us as necessary. In short, this means that, if we are to be Jesus’ disciples, we must cultivate a spiritual life while being immersed in everyday activities.
The presence of God made known to us through these readings is surely the stimulus we need in order to become his agents for good in our world.