Homily for the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Theme: Life and Family
By: Fr. Benny Tuazon
Homily for Sunday June 28 2020
(Mt. 7:10-42) Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
In today’s Gospel Jesus gives another hard set of teachings. He addressed it to everyone. It means that no one is exempted from these teachings. They are so vital and significant to those who will decide to follow Him. It goes up to the extreme of not prioritizing families over Jesus and the possibility of life to be given for the faith. Jesus also called the attention of those who will reject the ones sent by God and the reception of their messages. Finally, Jesus magnifies the real import of giving a mere cup of cold water to the needy.
This is considered a radical teaching. Family ranks as one of the highest and most cherished relationships we have in this world. Family is everything to many. Jesus also gave importance to families. His was a Holy Family. And the fact that He allowed Himself to be born in a family is a testimony to the value of family to Him. Yet, with regards to our faith, even family is dispensable.
And there is also human life. While Jesus taught the importance of protecting and preserving human life, it is not exempted from being given away for the faith. Life on earth is not our ultimate good. If it is required by faith to be given away, so be it. The martyrs of the faith knew that. Nothing can separate us from God.
Many left Jesus because of teachings like these. Life and family are important. What kind of religion is it which seems to abandon giving importance to family and life? But Jesus did not really mean that we pack up our bags and leave home and offer our lives to die at the slightest opportunity. He did not mean that we do not anymore take care of ourselves or expose our lives dangerously. The grace of martyrdom is something given. It is a grace which maybe given to some but not to all.
Jesus is challenging the quality and extent of our faith as defined by our relationship with Him. He knew that, at times, our faith gets in the way of family life and vice versa. It is the same with life. Are we willing to preserve our life but mocking our faith, and Jesus? We really need not face martyrdom in its most cruel state. Everyday we are challenged to make sacrifices and endure sufferings. Everyday, in our faithfulness to others, we are called to die to ourselves.