First reading: 2 Kings 4:8-11, 13-16
Second reading: Romans 6:3-4,8-11
Gospel: Matthew 10:37-42
Link to readings.
This Sunday’s readings reveal the demands and choices Jesus’s disciples have to make as they share in his new life and carry on his mission.
The Gospel continues Jesus’s teaching on the mission of his disciples. Here we see the cost – but also the generous rewards. In addition, those who welcome the missionary also welcome Jesus himself.
The story in the First Reading illustrates this teaching. God rewards the childless couple who welcome the prophet Elisha into their home with the gift of a child.
Psalm 88 (89) expresses the joy of the disciple whose faith is not in rules, but in the loving presence of their Lord and leader, and who walks in his light.
St Paul in his letter to the Romans (Second Reading) reminds us that through our baptism we now live a ‘new life’ in the Risen Christ. It is through their life in Christ Jesus that disciples can live the demands of mission.
This week, perhaps I might pray for the grace to follow Christ more closely and welcome him in others.
I come to my place of prayer and quieten my mind and body. How do I feel today? I gently place myself into God’s hands.
I take time to read the psalm several times. What phrases or words strike me? I mull these over, and speak to the Lord about what has touched me.
Can I enter into the spirit of praise and joy of this psalm? Or maybe I can strengthen my faith with the convictions expressed here?
As a disciple, what attributes of God, named in this psalm, draw me to follow him – love, truth, justice?
Can they bring me joy, bliss, strength, might?
The psalmist points to a God who is reliable and full of merciful kindness. Perhaps the response:‘I will sing forever of your love, O Lord’ can be my refrain this week.
I end my prayer with a slow sign of the cross.
As I settle to pray, I take the time to become aware of God’s loving presence. I let his love surround me.
I read the Gospel slowly, a couple of times.
Jesus is instructing his disciples. I may imagine myself seated with them at his feet, conscious that these words are addressed to me. What strikes me in his words? Do I feel daunted by them, or is this challenging love life-giving for me?
Whatever my first response, I speak to the Lord about it. How does this make me feel?
‘Follow in my footsteps’ – Jesus has led the way and is sending us out.
In what ways is he asking me to witness to him?
How do I experience Jesus’s presence in my life – receiving and giving in family, work, community ...?
I turn to Jesus, and perhaps give thanks for the values I have received ... for leaders in my life … or for the example of ministers ... of ‘little ones’.
I end quietly, with a ‘Glory be to the Father …’
Reflections based on Prego by St Bueno's Outreach in Diocese of Wrexham