Holding On and Letting Go

Receiving Jesus is accepting the boundless life he offers

Holding On

Greetings on this the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings: 2 KGS 4:8-11, 14-16A; PS 89:2-3, 16-17, 18-19; ROM 6:3-4, 8-11; MT 10:37-424

And Letting Go

The Gospel of Matthew in today’s reading is concerned with the necessity of reaching and living in the highest of love, that is the love of God. He helps us to let go by not holding so tightly the natural love of family in which we are born.

Really Jesus gives the list of tendency we have to limit ourselves and our acceptance of others.

Stopping our growth in love:

  1. In our love of father or mother ‘more than’;
  2. In our love of son or daughter ‘more than’; and
  3. In our self-love by avoiding the costs of discipleship of loving others.

Letting Go Frees Up Our Hands

Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

The amazing expanse that is your life is beyond the known and comfortable. Jesus is describing the willingness to lose one’s self-limiting importance and capacity and cleaving to Jesus so you will find the infinite graces of the life that is lived Christ.

Making no mistake here that this homily is not about a self-help program or merely about personal growth for the sake of growth.

This is about the relational growth in the person of Jesus.

Receive Me

Jesus prescribes that we receive him and in receiving him we receive the Father. There are many ways in which to receive Jesus especially in the Eucharistic gift that is Holy Communion.

Here though Jesus outlines the two basic ways to receive him, the reward hinted at and the outcome that comes from that.

Prophet

A prophet and a prophet’s reward. The reward of receiving the prophet is what the prophet offers. A prophet speaks in the name of God. A prophet prescribes knowing and understanding God and relational reality of God. Jesus being a Prophet rewards us with knowing and trusting the Father. This is Faith.

Righteous

A righteous man and a righteous man’s reward. The reward of receiving a righteous man is the gift of being in right relation with God and Man. Jesus being a righteous man through his behavior brings us the hopeful expectation that righteousness brings. Acting righteous with others is the very essence of hope, hope for oneself, hope for the other, hope for peace with God and peace with your fellow man. This is Hope.

Cold Water

Ah, the charity of Jesus. It is always described by inference of the natural spiritual outflow of Faith and Hope. Faith and Hope yield Charity founded in the love of the Lord.

Saint Jerome said this about the cold water: That none should say, I am poor and therefore cannot be hospitable, He takes away even this plea by the instance of a cup of cold water, given with good will. He says cold water, because in hot, poverty and lack of fuel might be pleaded. And whosoever shall give to drink to one of the least of these a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.

This is Love (Charity).

Theological Virtues

So by now you have guessed I am speaking to the rewards of the gifts of the theological virtues. Faith, hope and Love (Charity). Jesus in his most gentle way is making an example of his life in these virtues whos power comes from the Father through the Holy Spirit.

Death-Life or Life beyond Death

Saint Paul describes the letting go in these terms: because of Christ’s ultimate victory over death… Consequently, you too must think of yourselves as dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus.

So a life limited as described in the beginning (the list I wrote above), is a death-life and holding firm in faith and hope we can life, the Life beyond the worries of death.

Let Go and Receive.

Peace be with you,

Deacon Gerry

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