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Daily Reflection for Monday, July 17, 2017

Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners!

We encourage you to reflect on Monday’s readings at this link:
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/071717.cfm

If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Exodus 1:8-14, 22
Responsorial: Psalms 124, 1B-3,4-6,7-8
Gospel: Matthew 10:34-11:1

Our reflection on Monday’s readings:
“And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because he is a disciple – amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward.” Matthew 10:42

I believe that in today’s gospel, Jesus is trying to shock his disciples – and us – out of complacency. Jesus is “in our face” about what really matters. He uses extreme language that will push our buttons. “I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set man against his father, a daughter against her mother… 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. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:34-35,37,39)  I believe that Jesus wanted the disciples and us to squarely confront the first commandment “I am the Lord your God, you shall have no other gods before me” even if those “gods” were beloved family members.

However, Jesus did not leave us with the harsh truth without examples. He tells us that service to others less fortunate than ourselves trumps receiving the prophets, the righteous and those that we already hold in high esteem.

I just returned from a vacation to the Utah National Parks. As I reflect on the natural beauty of the Arches, Capital Reef, Bryce Canyon, and Zion National Parks, water played an enormous role in transforming the landscape into unimaginable beauty while at the same time providing life for so many in the desert. I don’t believe that it is an accident that water is used as an essential element of our baptism to transform our worldly existence into a spiritual being united with Christ. This human landscape can be even more beautiful when we share our life (cold drink) with those who desire Jesus in their life or those who are encountering Jesus for the first time.

Who will you share “a cup of cold water” with this week?

Paul Gunn


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