Readings: 2 Kings 4:8-11, 14-16A; Psalm 89, Response: For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.; Romans 6:3-4, 8-11; Gospel: Matthew 10: 37-42
This Sunday is the second installment of Jesus’ instructions to his apostles as he sends them out on mission. In its seeming “harsh” demands, it inspires some of the deepest graces in us.
Three graces to reflect on and to pray for this Sunday: availability, devotion and mission.
The opening lines of the Gospel seem harsh and “counterintuitive,” especially for cultures like the Philippines where family ties are central. But there is a deeper meaning that is actually inspirational.
One of the graces St. Ignatius of Loyola asks us to pray for is the grace of availability. It is the availability for God’s will and mission for us, to go wherever he sends us. Availability is based on another Ignatian grace: detachment. This is the grace we readily see in today’s Gospel, to be detached from family, friends, etc.
Another way of looking at detachment is not to have any inordinate attachment, i.e., attachments that hinder us from dedicating ourselves to what God wants us to do, dedication to our mission.
This shows us that often it is not a choice between good and bad, but a choice between what is good and what is for the greater good, for the greater glory of God.
All this is the fruit of freedom, the freedom to choose. Let us develop this in our reflections on the other Ignatian grace to pray for in our second point, devotion.
When the Lord invites us to take up our cross and follow him, to lose our life for his sake, it is an invitation to devotion—a total, loyal and affective offering of self to the following of Jesus.
One reaches devotion through freedom, spiritual freedom, the goal of Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises. In this process, it begins with freedom from our sins and sinfulness, as well as from our blessings, talents and gifts—no inordinate attachments.
Then the process leads us to a greater knowing of Jesus, and this results in a greater loving of Jesus, which is expressed in following Jesus. Following is loving expressed in deeds.
Following is a commitment, a conscious and total giving of self—the choice to “return love for love.”
Ignatius describes this commitment from the perspective of mission. He points out that when one sees God’s will, God’s mission, one is faced with the choice to give one’s self totally to the work, “totus ad laborem.”
The spiritual freedom to love and to follow all the way to the cross leads to devotion to Jesus and to share in his mission.
Devotion is total. In layperson’s terms, we give our self to God hook, line and sinker—including our sins, or most especially our sins. Jesus came for our sins and asks us, sinners that we are, to be his followers and share in his mission.
Our final point for reflection is devotion to mission. It is the synthesis of our life, the living out of our relationship with God, our fullness of life here on earth.
Mission reconnects us to Jesus: “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”
This the life of a disciple of Christ—living a life of mission with devotion and total availability. We are sent into the world—our world now—to live out our mission.
In the Lord’s words, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” (John 20: 21)
He sends us now, Father, Son and Spirit, into our world in need of healing and the building of God’s Kingdom. In the “new normal,” we cocreate the new creation. —CONTRIBUTED
Please join us in this mission to build the new creation in the new normal. Be part of the One Prayer Action Mission prayer community. Follow @OnePAMph on Facebook and Twitter