A reading from the gospel of Matthew 10:34-42, 11:1
34 Jesus said to his Apostles: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword.
35 For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
36 and one’s enemies will be those of his household.
37 “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;
38 and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me.
39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
40 “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.
41 Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever receives a righteous man because he is righteous will receive a righteous man’s reward.
42 And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because he is a disciple, amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward.”
1 When Jesus finished giving these commands to his Twelve disciples, he went away from that place to teach and to preach in their towns.
Reflection: How do you make a decision?
In life, we make a lot of choices. In fact, a large part of our life today is the result of the choices we had made in the past. In the same manner, the decisions we make today determines our future. So how do we make decision so that we will have a peaceful and happy life?
There are times when making decision is not easy especially if our basic principles in life are involved. In these moments, we often make compromises and many times we choose what is convenient for the time being. Rather than fight for what is right, we often opt to stay in our comfort zone and protect our peace of mind. When faced with a choice between God and worldly things, many of us choose the latter.
For this reason, Jesus is telling us that we are not worthy of Him if we make decision based on convenience such as for the sake of personal advantage, for family, and even for the sake of temporary peace. In the process, we compromise the values and principles of love and justice. Jesus is challenging us to always make personal sacrifices for the sake of His kingdom – that is, for us to accept wholeheartedly His offer of salvation by turning away from the world and to follow Him.
Following the path of Jesus entails a lot of difficult decisions. There are many crosses, i.e. hindrances, along the way. Sometimes these difficulties include family and loved ones. Often times, the decision is whether to turn back or to proceed. May we always decide in favor of the gospel message, that is, to carry our crosses, deny ourselves and to focus on Him. In doing this, we will receive our just reward of true peace, real happiness and eternal life.