Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The gospel reading today certainly calls for a deeper understanding beyond an initial reading. The phrase “whoever loves mother or father more than me is not worthy of me,” could cause some distress if not understood within its fullest context. At the time of the composition of the Gospel of Matthew, families and friends were torn apart in light of their beliefs concerning Jesus as the Messiah. The emphasis Jesus points to is an absolute emphasis on God as the center of one’s life. However, Jesus states in the Gospel of Matthew the importance of continuing the commandments, which would include honoring one’s father and mother. This honor to parents was repeated by Paul in his Letter to the Ephesians found in chapter 6:1. This reading establishes a hierarchy, a hierarchy which is identified also by Ignatius in the First Principle and Foundation:  Men and women are created to praise, reverence and serve God and the things on the face of the earh are created to help us towards that end. Therefore, the full love of God cannot but serve as the foundation for love of parents, and it assures that love of those who brought us into the world, so that we may know and love that same God.

July 2nd, 2017