God First Above All

Matthew 10: 34—11:1
Exo 1:8-14,22 / Psa 124

I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.
(Matthew 10:34)

Put no hope on what this world may bring,
Life isn’t always what it may seem.
Put Jesus first above everything,
Then our soul He will surely redeem.

(Jesus said), “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the One Who sent me. Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever receives a righteous man because he is righteous will receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because he is a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.” Now when Jesus had finished instructing His twelve disciples, He went on from there to teach and proclaim His message in their towns. (Matthew 10:34–11:1)

Reflection

Our Lord was talking about spiritual warfare when He said “I have not come to bring peace but a sword.” There would be no peace insofar as the battle against evil was concerned. Jesus was also predicting the persecutions that were to come during the early years of the Church. The preaching of the Christian faith would come at a steep price – the division even among family members. As the old man Simeon in the Gospel of Luke had predicted to His mother Mary in the temple, Jesus would be “a sign of contradiction, and you yourself a sword will pierce so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed” (Lk.3:34-35). If the family of our Savior Himself would not be spared of the sword, why should His followers be exempted?

God and His kingdom takes precedence over everyone and everything in our life. On this there is no compromise, no conditions. This is simply because we were never created for this life on earth, but were destined to live the life eternal in heaven with our Maker. We are just passing through this life, and the only important and vital thing in this passage is our commitment to follow our Savior, Jesus Christ, suffer for Him, even to the point of death, to be worthy of Him and receive our eternal reward.

Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” If we value our life on earth more than our relationship with Jesus, then we will lose the real life, the life that has no end, that has no more strife or suffering, a life of bliss in the glory of God’s love, where all kinds of earthly love pale in comparison. As our Lord so aptly put it, “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his own soul?” (Lk.9:25) How can this be such a hard choice to make? And yet our Lord tells us that even the little things that we do out of love—“give even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink” will have merit in the eyes of God.

Next Sunday, when our community launches its first “medical mission of mercy” for the flood victims of Matina Pangi, all those who will come to share their time and resources will definitely receive more than a righteous man’s reward.

Father God, now that we have learned to set our eyes on the real destination of our life’s journey, we can only praise and thank You every day for the rest of our lives for the great sacrifice that You had to make in becoming one of us to show us the way to Your kingdom. Grant that we may also be Your instruments in bringing Your Word and the love of Jesus to others as atonement for our sins, and to reciprocate Your infinite love. Amen.

Comments are closed.