Translated and summarized from the homily by Fr Fabio Rosini



In the Gospel for Sunday, Jesus demands that we love him more than our family members. Is this all about having extra moral fibre? Or is it something else altogether? Could it be that by loving him first, then the love we have for our parents is truer and purer? Please read the homily from Vatican Radio below!

GOSPEL: Matthew 10, 37-42
Jesus said to his apostles:
“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 a righteous man
will receive a righteous man’s reward.
And whoever gives only a cup of cold water
to one of these little ones to drink
because the little one is a disciple—
amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward.”
THE GOSPEL OF THE LORD: Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ

Kieran’s summary . . . In this week’s passage, Jesus says, “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me . .” This translation makes it seem as if Jesus is making a moral point: that someone who loves their parents more than Christ is not at the moral level required for a disciple. But the Greek word for “worthy” actually means something different. What Jesus is saying is that if I love my parents more than Christ then I am not properly “adapted” to Christ. It is not my moral fibre that is the issue, but my priorities. If my priority is this natural life, then the life of grace will suffer. If my priority is relationships on a purely human level, then I will have difficulty loving as Christ calls me to love. The fact is that there are two types of life: the life of nature and the life of grace. If I am attached to my natural life, but still strive to follow Christ, then I may end up living a sort of moral rigorism. If my priority is the things of the flesh, but I try to keep the “rules” of Christianity, then those very rules will feel oppressive. My heart is attached to worldly things, so my conformity to Christian behaviour ends up being unwilling, not done with all my heart. What is the solution? The solution is to consider that this natural life is going to end someday anyhow! We cannot embrace the new life of the Spirit unless we turn away from the old life of the flesh. The choice is mine: will I continue making a priority of the natural life that I inherited from my parents? Or will I opt for the life of grace, which is offered to me by my heavenly Father? The cross is the instrument by which we leave our old lives behind and embrace the life of grace. God does not impose grace, he does not impose the cross, but we do well to accept them so that we can begin to live the life of the Spirit.