Do the people we encounter feel welcomed?
By Sharon Priester
Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time/July 2
2 Kings 4:8-11,14-16a; Psalm 89:2-3,16-17,18-19;
Romans 6:3-4,8-11; Matthew 10:37-42
Just the other day, a few of us from the neighborhood were standing at the end of our driveway chatting about what was going on in the neighborhood — how the new baby next door was doing, how the gardens were growing and of course, how fast the little kids were growing. We shared our plans for the next few months — weddings, travels, summer activities, etc. Most importantly, we welcomed our new neighbors. I still remember when we moved into the neighborhood, totally overwhelmed by all the new faces and having difficulty remembering everyone’s name.
Later that day, my husband and I ran into a man who had recently participated in the RCIA process at our parish and was baptized and received into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil. He praised our parish’s RCIA coordinator and the team. He said over and over how welcomed he felt throughout the year and especially since entering the Church by the RCIA team, the parish, the Church.
Jesus comes to you in the people you meet every day — the cashier at the grocery store, the receptionist at the doctor’s office, your neighbor, etc. You are called to “Sing the goodness of the Lord.”
Welcomed! In the first reading this week, we hear about Elisha entering the city of Shunem and how he was welcomed. In the past, he had dinner at the home of a very influential woman and her husband. This time was no different. He was welcomed to their home to enjoy the evening and rest.
AMBASSADORS FOR CHRIST
In the Gospel reading, Jesus reminds the apostles that discipleship is not easy. They are called to love God more than their father or mother, son or daughter. They are to “take up his cross and follow after Him.” If they do this, they will be rewarded with everlasting life in the kingdom of God.
We are called to follow Jesus, to be an ambassador for Christ. Also, recall Jesus comes to you in the people you meet every day — the cashier at the grocery store, the receptionist at the doctor’s office, your neighbor, etc. You are called to “Sing the goodness of the Lord,” according to Psalm 89, and to proclaim your faithfulness.
Remember, “Whoever serves even the smallest bit of water will have eternal life.” (Matthew 10:42)
SHARON PRIESTER has served as a parish catechist and director of religious education, Bible study leader, RCIA team member and coordinator, and regional director of religious education for the Diocese of Peoria. She is a member of Holy Trinity Parish in Bloomington.