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Thursday 21 September |
The Feast of Saint Matthew the Apostle
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3-Point Mass prep: Understanding Scripture with Scripture

woman drawing water well

Harmattan Toujours | Shutterstock

Fr. Paweł Rytel-Andrianik - published on 07/01/23

This Sunday's Gospel has a demand that is best understood in context.

The Gospel for this Sunday is Mt 10:37-42

1. A word of introduction

The best commentary on a passage of Scripture is another passage that allows us to understand it better. By doing this, the message of God is not misunderstood or misinterpreted due to lack of context. We read them as part of the whole. Today’s Gospel shows how important this is.

2. Keywords

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.

These words may be surprising. Jesus is an example of charity and respect, and here is such a claim. However, this is in no way contrary to the whole teaching of Jesus. Reading them within the larger context of Sacred Scripture is essential to understand them fully. Christ emphasizes the fourth commandment of the Decalogue: “Honor your father and mother.” It is simply a question of God being in the first place, and then – as St. Augustine emphasizes – “everything will be in its right place.”

And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink
because the little one is a disciple – amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward.

Water is something commonplace and, at the same time, necessary for life. Jesus’ disciples could feel its lack while proclaiming the Good News on hot days. A cup of water was not expensive. Even a very poor person could help in Jesus’ mission by offering His disciples water along the way. 

An ordinary cup of fresh water, given in the name of Jesus, will be rewarded. How sensitive God’s goodness is to a simple gesture! At the same time, it calls for mercy and charity not only to the rich but also to the poor. 

The disciples do not act in their name when preaching the Gospel. They carry out their mission in the name of God. They are not claiming their own kingdom, but that of God. The disciples follow Jesus’ example of obedience to the Father.

The rabbis have a similar saying: “God will bless him who gives food to one who studies the Torah in this world and will receive much in the world to come.”

3. Today

Where is God in my life? The Gospel for today encourages us to be honest with ourselves. When we prioritize God, everything else falls into place in our lives.

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