The big issues
It is very easy to connect Pharaoh’s genocidal infanticide in today’s first reading (Exodus 1:8-14, 22) with the modern plagues of abortion and the subtly genocidal motivations associated with Planned Parenthood.
It is very easy to relate the prophecy of familial conflict in today’s Gospel (Matthew 10:34-11:1) with an intergenerational gap on moral issues in our own day.
To be sure, we must be attentive to these issues, especially as citizens of society and members of families.
But there are other big issues in today’s Gospel that we dare not overlook just because they seem less dramatically relevant to today’s headlines: issues that are very personal and perennial for anyone wishing to live the life of Christ.
The first is more dramatic and critical than any news headline or trendy “cause”: radical self-sacrifice in daily life for the sake of Christ.
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.
The second is not so dramatic and yet very critical: to manifest God’s love and our support for evangelization continually, even in small ways:
Whoever receives you
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 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.
May we always keep these issues alive in our minds, in our words, and in our deeds.