† 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time †

† Fr. Mike’s Musings †

Sunday, June 28, 2020

On this 13th Sunday in Ordinary time, we may find this weekend’s readings very challenging to embrace for what is expected of us as modern-day Catholic Christians.

Our First Reading, from 2 Kings, shows us the importance and the power of hospitality with the story of a woman of rather meager means who showed generous hospitality to the visitor Elisha the prophet. She invited him to dinner with her family and arranged a room for him in her home so that he would have a comfortable place to stay during his travels through her town. She reached out to the prophet in a simple and practical manner to make him feel welcomed and was rewarded in an extraordinary way by the pregnancy and birth of a longed-for son for her and her husband.

In our Second Reading, from the Letter to the Romans, Saint Paul reminds us of the power of our Baptism and how this sacrament makes us Jesus’ disciples. What does that mean for us here and now? The apostle Paul tells us very clearly: “You must think of yourselves as dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus.” We must make Jesus Christ the source and center of our very existence! Nothing less will do.

In the Gospel this weekend, Jesus sent our his Apostles on a mission to proclaim the message of His kingdom in a rather surprising way: “Whoever finds his life [by living for oneself] will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” But how might we lose our life? Precisely through our loving actions towards others, loving them as if they were Jesus Christ Himself. “Whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because the little one is one of my disciples… he will surely not lose his reward.”

Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said, “I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving, but do not give your leftovers. Give until it hurts and until you feel pain.” In this weekend’s readings we see that the standards of being a Catholic Christian is generosity, hospitality, and sacrifice. Whoever receives Jesus in these ways will find their lives and will demonstrate that they are truly His disciples.