June 26, 2020
Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Who or what takes first place in your life – in your daily thoughts, cares, and concerns? God has put us first in his thought, care, and concern for our well-being and future. God loved us first and our love for him is a response to his exceeding kindness and mercy towards us. Even while we were hopelessly adrift through our own sinful pride, rebellion and unbelief, he chose to give us his own beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who laid down his life for our sake – to set us free from slavery, sin, Satan, and death.
There is no greater proof of God’s love for us than the free-will offering of his Son who shed his blood for us on the cross. His death broke the curse of guilt and condemnation and won for us pardon and adoption as beloved sons and daughters of God our Father. Through the victory of his cross and resurrection, the Lord Jesus offers us abundant new life through the gift and power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us.
The Holy Spirit reveals to us the love of the eternal Father and the eternal Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who come to make their home with us and to unite us in a bond of peace and friendship. That is why the Lord Jesus commanded his disciples to give him their undivided loyalty and love above all else. We owe him a debt of gratitude for what he has done for us. The Lord Jesus gives us the assurance and promise that he will raise up our mortal bodies to be like his so that we may fully share in his resurrection for all eternity.
God has no equal – that is why we owe the eternal Father, Son, and Holy Spirit our undivided loyalty, trust, and obedience. Jesus challenges his disciples to examine who they love first and foremost. A true disciple loves God above all else and is willing to forsake all for the Lord Jesus who calls us to follow him. Jesus insists that his disciples give him the loyalty which is due to God, a loyalty which is higher than spouse or kin. It is possible that family and friends can become our enemies, if the thought of them keeps us from doing what we know God wants us to do.
True love for God compels us to express charity, merciful deeds of kindness and goodness, towards our neighbors who are also loved by God because he created each of them in his image and likeness. Mother Theresa of Calcutta once told a marvelous story about a destitute family who had nothing to eat for days. When news of their impoverished condition came to the Missionary Sisters of Charity, Mother Theresa personally went to their home and brought them some food supplies. The mother of the family immediately divided the food in half and carried it off. When she returned, Mother Theresa asked her, “Where did you go?” She gave the simple answer, “To my neighbors, they are hungry also!” Mother Theresa said, “I was not surprised that she gave – poor people are really very generous. I was surprised that she knew they were hungry. As a rule, when we are suffering, we are so focused on ourselves, we have no time for others.”
Jesus declared that any kindness shown and any help given to the people of Christ will not lose its reward. Jesus never refused to give to anyone in need who asked for his help. As his disciples, we are called to be kind and generous as he is. Jesus sets before us the one goal in life that is worth any sacrifice and that goal is union with God – uniting our heart, mind, and will with his heart and will for our lives. The reward of a life given over to God and obeying his voice is God himself – the source of true peace and joy that lasts forever. Does the love of Jesus Christ compel you to put God first in all you do?
Rev. Edward C. Domme, Pastor
811 Guaymas Place NE
Albuquerque, NM 87108
Parish Office (505)256-9818