Loving Jesus More

Jesus’ conditions for discipleship can be found in the Gospel Reading for the 13th Sunday in Ordi­nary Time (Mt. 10:37-42): “Whoever loves father or mother, son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me". Of course we love our parents and children, family and friends, but we are to love God more. We express our loyalty in our actions.

Extraordinary Saints

The feast day of the Saints Peter and Paul is celebrated each year on June 29th. We find excellent examples of discipleship in these two very different apostles. We know that Peter was one of Jesus’ first followers, a simple fisherman who Jesus said he would build his church upon. Paul on the other hand persecuted early followers of Christ until he met Jesus in a very dramatic encounter. He went on to spread Jesus’ message throughout the Mediterranean. Peter was an uneducated, ordinary man and Paul a highly educated Pharisee. They didn’t see eye to eye, but they com­plimented each other.

Our Role Models

Both left their former way of life to bring Jesus out into the world. We must do the same, but how? First by being willing to love Jesus more than our friends or family. To love Jesus means to follow his ways. It means to bring his teachings into our daily lives and out into the world. Bringing his teachings out into the world means to live by his example. Living by his examp­le means losing your life as you know it and trans­forming yourself.

Living the Message

Giving up a piece of your day to spend time with the Lord, by turning to the daily readings and attending Mass regularly is a good place to begin. It means doing the inner work of self-examination of how you view the world and treat others. It is as simple as looking in the mir­ror. This is what it means to take up your cross and follow him.