June 28, 2020: A Reflection for the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

Matthew 10:37-42

What would you say unifies Jesus’ life and teaching? Today’s Gospel gives us some manifestations of what this unifying focus is. When Jesus counsels us to take up our cross and follow him, to lose our life in order to find it, to see his Presence in every person and make it our purpose to serve them in their need, he is giving us a glimpse of his inner disposition, his abiding way of being.

This unifying disposition is his complete inner surrender of himself to the Father. Today’s Gospel gives us a peek at what it looks like and to what he invites us to aspire to in following him. This gift of himself to the Father is what ties together all the many ways Jesus puts forth how we may follow him. It shows us the source of the spring of life within each person and invites us to follow him in his own focus, which is the Father. It is that love, that surrender and trust that makes taking up our cross and walking in Jesus’ steps possible. It is the spring from which flows our love and service of others. It ties together all the sayings of Jesus and shows us that it is a simple thing to follow him because it is rooted in relationship and love. All Jesus’ precepts are what this love looks like in our daily lives. It flows from the deepest part of our being and is the heart of what it means to be human.

In our life as monastics, this focus towards God, this quiet and trustful gift of ourselves to the Father in Jesus, through the power of the Spirit, is the foundation of our vocation. It is why our day is structured the way it is, why we observe certain things. It all springs from this place and if we will but yield to God in the quiet trust of our hearts, we will lose a superficial life and find our true self in the discipleship of letting go into love.