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Association of the Miraculous Medal
Gospel Reflection for July 2

Besides her great privilege of being the Mother of God, Mary was also her Son’s first disciple. She is often called the Model, or Exemplar of the Church. Following her example, we walk with her through the Gospels as we reflect on her response to God in her life.

July 2, 2017 —Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Matthew 10:37-42
 Father Oscar Lukefahr, C.M.

Matthew’s text is telling us that the world may be hard for us as Christians, but that we will be rewarded. We are asked to love Christ above anyone or anything else, and to even give up our life to follow him. How we serve Jesus in this life determines how we will serve him in eternity (1 Cor.3:10-15).

As I reflect on today’s gospel, I am reminded of three nuns from the tiny town of Ruma, Illinois (30 miles southeast of St. Louis), who were brutally murdered in Liberia 25 years ago. They, along with two other American nuns who also belonged to the Adorers of the Blood of Christ order, were on a mission trip dedicated to education and health care in 1992. The sisters had all been in Liberia for several years running medical clinics and schools. They really loved the people there and had a real belief that things could be better for them. They willingly chose to stay close to the people of Liberia, standing in solidarity with them in some of their darkest times. When the sisters went overseas, they knew there was danger, but they felt that spreading the word of God was their mission. Their faithfulness to God’s call ultimately brought them to give their lives.

Following Jesus involves leaving things behind and giving things up. These five nuns gave up the comforts of home and left behind their family and friends because they felt that deeper, higher calling to help those in need in a war-torn country. What we give up for Jesus does not compare to what he gives back. If the costs are great, like the three nuns from Ruma, the rewards are even greater, even in this life.

Are you willing to take up the cross and follow Jesus, even it means leaving things behind and giving things up, including your life?
Read last week's reflection.