XIII Ordinary Sunday

He who does not take up his cross is not worthy of me.
Mt 10, 37-42

This gospel text is the final part of Jesus' Missionary Discourse, where he proclaims the statutes of Kingdom missionary preachers.

He who loves his father or mother is not worthy of me.

To understand these demanding words of Jesus, we must take into account what he said he said eight days ago, about fear. Jesus has said that following his work brings many risks, even losing his life. This warning can cause confusion in the disciples. There will come times when the apostles, and all Christians, will have to choose, to follow the Mission or abandon it. Being a Christian implies making fundamental choices that bring resignations.

He who does not take up his cross is not worthy of me.

This phrase clarifies the teaching of this Sunday much better. Jesus does not promise great prizes and recognitions, on the contrary, he presents the drama of the Cross. Jesus speaks realistically to his followers in such a way that he warns his followers of what a true disciple of the Lord assumes. Loving Jesus more than the family already did Pedro and Andrés, Santiago and Juan. What Jesus now demands is infinitely harder: carrying the cross. Should it be interpreted literally or symbolically? Symbolically, but with practical repercussions: you have to be willing to carry it and move on.

It should be noted that love for family and love for Jesus are not excluded or opposed. They are compatible, in order to maintain the appropriate scale of values. Zebedee's children abandon their father, but the mother accompanies them and even asks Jesus for a special favor for them. Mary, at least according to the version of the fourth gospel, is at the foot of the cross. The Lord speaks of the follow-up, and raises the alternative of having to choose Jesus and his own family, between Jesus and his own security, between preserving life or losing it for him.

As for "carrying the cross", it is worth remembering "Sometimes God will leave you, other times your neighbor will test you, and, what is worse, often you will not know how to accept yourself, what you will be for yourself an unbearable face ”(Thomas de Kempis, The imitation of Christ, book II, chapter 12). The demand to break with one's own securities is symbolized in the attitude of taking up the cross and following Jesus.

In a time where ethical-moral principles quickly dissolve, it is vitally important to make fundamental choices and bear the consequences of our choices. That is why Jesus proposes a change in the scale of values ​​of the Disciples, always radical: to preserve life is to lose it, and to lose it for Him is to preserve it.

The dignity of the human person is maintained standing thanks to the coherence of life. Today we must ask ourselves if we are convinced of our faith in Jesus and if our faith corresponds to our lifestyle. We really embrace the cross or we simply adjust to the comfortable offers that are presented to us. May the words of this Gospel resonate within us: He who saves his life will lose it and he who loses it for me will save it.

Let's not be afraid, there will always be difficulties, but we well know that what is really worth in life costs and costs a lot. The Cross helps us remember that the roots of fullness are bitter but its fruits sweet. De Colores!!!

+Faustino Armendáriz Jiménez

Archbishop of Durango

OMCC Ecclesiastical Advisor

Note: We appreciate your understanding for unintentional errors in translation


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