Hello and thank you for allowing me to share this time of Sunday reflection with you. In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples about how people receive messengers and their message.
The Holy Gospel According to St. Matthew 10:40-42
Glory to you, oh Lord!
“’Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.’”
The Gospel of our Lord.
Praise to you, oh Christ!
Grace and peace are yours from God our Father, and from his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
I was a teenager when I went to see the premier of a blockbuster movie at a popular cinema in my hometown. A couple of my friends from church were with me and I asked them, “Would anything make you ashamed of the gospel?” They said, “Of course not!” Then I began to sing a Christian camp song really loud in the middle of the huge line of people waiting to get their tickets. My friends disappeared immediately! Vanished! I couldn’t see them. They had left me alone. A little later when they thought it was safe to return to the line, I told them, “You see? You were ashamed of your faith!” Then they said, “No, man. We’re not ashamed of the gospel. We’re embarrassed by you.”
You see, in many instances in life, the messenger becomes the message. I acted way out of place, not thinking, just being a crazy teenager, and my friends were ashamed of me.
As Christians, we are always challenged to share the Gospel but seldom are we trained and taught to do so effectively.
In Jesus’ words that we read today, he speaks about those receiving the message, their response and their reward. What a responsibility we have! How are our words in social media and on the internet showing the love and respect Jesus wants us to proclaim?
Some Christians, as they read this gospel text, place a lot of weight on the messenger, and little on the one receiving the message. What do we know about those receiving our messages? Do we think that we are really the only messenger from Christ to them? Could it be that my arrogance is getting in the way of the message and the one sending it? Perhaps that’s what they are not welcoming? We may talk a lot about respect in our days, but are we really respecting those that think different than us?
Let us pray,
Gracious God, your message is one of love, pure love in action. Sometimes we mess up our understanding of how to share your love. Forgive us, because we have hurt other people with our words without respect. You are working on everyone’s lives. Guide us to where we may learn to be worthy messengers of your love and kindness. Bring peace, repentance, reconciliation and health to our communities. We pray these things, through your Son Jesus Christ, our Lord who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God now and forever. Amen.
Thank you for watching. Until next time stay with God’s blessing,
The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord’s face shine on you with grace and mercy.
The Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace! Amen!
+ Bp. Pedro
Rev. Pedro Suarez, Bishop
Florida-Bahamas Synod, ELCA