Discipleship comes with sacrifices -- and unimaginable blessings
by Sister Sally Ann Brickner
Sunday’s Sacred Scripture (link) conveys an important message about the interrelationship between faith and hospitality. As our faith deepens our hospitality expands to all of God’s creation.
In the reading from the second book of Kings we hear the story of the Shunammite woman and her care for the prophet, Elisha. His journeys regularly took him for a meal in her home, so she cajoled her husband to create a special room where Elisha could rest and recuperate. His gratitude overflowed, and he prayed that God fulfill her unspoken desire for a son. Though nameless, the faithful Shunammite woman’s kindness and hospitality endures to inspire generations.
The reading from Matthew’s Gospel focuses on the costs and rewards of missionary discipleship. A true disciple of Jesus places relationship with Him before all else – valued familial ties, prized material objects, desired good name or fame. A faithful disciple of Jesus, like Him, accepts – even embraces – whatever crosses life presents, be they physical hardships, criticisms, divisions or discords, sickness or death.
As Jesus’ faithful disciple I am called to …
- sacrifice personal pleasure in order to seek only God’s glory
- ask for mercy and show mercy to others
- submit to God’s authority and the authority of others with gentleness and meekness
- maintain purity of heart and intention
- accept criticism in the pursuit of justice for all
- suffer persecution because of my belief in God
And the hundredfold I receive as Jesus’ disciple is …
- the gentlest Master I could ever desire
- God’s Holy Spirit to guide and fill me
- the joy of building God’s reign each day
- life in harmony with all of God’s creation
- the promise of everlasting life
What richness for “leaving all to follow Jesus!” (Luke 18:28). What fulfillment from the "Fountain Fullness of Love!" (St. Bonaventure)