13th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2020

My Dear People, 

First of all, I would like to thank the ones who attended the Holy Hour in reparation for the Luciferian (Satanists) march on June 21st in several cities. We need to pray more and more because the evil forces (the children of darkness) are getting larger and larger, and they are getting bolder and bolder. 

We need Jesus in our Country and in our lives, and how do we have Jesus? The gospel of today clearly tells us of how we follow Jesus and in what priority we are to place him. 

Jesus speaks of  being worthy. In John 10:11-13, he spoke about the worthiness of those who receive or reject the disciples in their missionary travels. Now the disciples will have their own worthiness tested. 

The “worthy” disciple does not love father, mother, son, or daughter more than Christ.  In ancient Jewish culture, in which family relationships were so important, Jesus’ words were quite demanding. Jesus says loyalty to him even before one’s family is a hallmark of true discipleship. The one who puts family loyalties before him is not worthy of me.

Although not every disciple will be called to actual martyrdom, all are called to die daily to self. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.  Those who see happiness in life by pursuing their own interests will never be fulfilled.  Only by giving one’s self to God and others do we experience the lasting fulfillment God wants us to have. 

Whoever receives you receives me:  This way reflects the Jewish tradition of the ambassador, or shaliah, who possessed the full authority of the person he presented. “A man’s emissary. . . is like the man himself.” The apostles do not teach on their own authority. Behind their preaching and healing is the authority of Jesus Christ himself. To accept the teaching of the apostles is to accept Jesus. But we can also see from this background of the shaliah that to reject the ministry of the apostles is no small matter. It is to reject Jesus: “Whoever rejects you rejects me” (Luke 10:16). Yet the one who does receive the apostles receives not only Jesus but also God, for Jesus stands as a shaliah of the heavenly Father: whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. 

The idea of taking up a cross is often used by Christians today as a metaphor to describe bearing with life’s regular burdens: a long wait in traffic, a difficult boss, a cold. However, for the first-century Jews, the image of taking up a cross evoked horror and shame. 

Crucifixion was the cruelest form of execution used by the Roman government. It was intended not only to punish rebels by inflicting as much physical pain as possible but also to maximize humiliation, sending a signal to other potential rebels not to revolt against Rome. The criminal’s public shaming began when he took up his crossbeam and carried it through the city streets amid the mockery of the crowds. Therefore, when Jesus says the true disciple must “take up his cross,” he is not merely calling for acceptance of life’s little inconveniences and hardships. He is calling his disciples to be willing to give up everything, even their lives if necessary, to follow him. 

Yours in Christ, 

Fr. Vincent Clemente


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