"Whoever welcomes you, welcomes me."
Discipleship is at the heart of the Christian Faith. We cannot simply believe, we are called to follow, to act, to witness in light of our relationship with Jesus Christ. We’re told that even the most humble among us have a share in the mission that Christ has given to the Church.
There are only 12 Apostles (13 if we count St. Paul). These were the first disciples to follow Jesus. We have no prophets like Elisha today nor do we have Apostles in the Church Militant. But we are all called to discipleship (2 Timothy 1:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:3).
At Baptism our lives are joined forever to the cross of Christ, as Paul tells us in today’s Epistle. Baptized into His death, our discipleship means that we are to live for God in Christ Jesus.
We follow Jesus by taking up our own personal cross, as Jesus tells us in today’s Gospel. That doesn’t mean we will all be asked to suffer a martyr’s death but each of us is called to self-denial and to the offering of our lives in service of God’s plan.
The Gospel affirms that Jesus must be elevated to first place in our lives—above even our closest bonds of kinship and love. By Baptism, we’ve been made part of a new family—the kingdom of God, the Church. We proclaim that kingdom with our lives, encouraging our fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters and all people, to live as “little ones” under God and the kingship of God’s Holy Incarnate One.
We do this by opening our hearts and homes to the service of the Lord, following the Shunnamite woman’s example in today’s First Reading. As Jesus tells us, we are to receive others—not only prophets but little children, the poor, the marginalized and the imprisoned—as we receive Christ Himself (Matthew 18:5; 25:31–46).
We hold fast to the promise—that if we have died with Christ, we shall also live with Him, that if we lose our lives for His sake, we will find our reward, and walk forever in God’s presence.
2 Kgs 4:8–11, 14–1 Ps 89:2–3, 16–19. Rom 6:3–4, 8–11 Mt 10:37–42