13th Sunday of Year A
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The Shunemite woman is not identified but described as a woman of influence. Sheltering a prophet involved considerable risk in the political situation of her time. She chose to offer radical hospitality and make a difference. This story from Elisha’s miracles highlights the truth of the Gospel where Jesus says, “Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophets reward… ”. What are the parallels you see between the Gospel and the Shunemite woman’s story?
Her risk ended up being life-giving and fruitful with the birth of child. Offering radical hospitality is a risky business. In parts of the world it can involve considerable risk to profess Christianity and in others it’s seen as irrelevant or held up for derision. What are the pressures around you? What help do you need from God?
St Paul uses the analogy that choosing Jesus is to be ‘baptized’ not only into new life in and with Christ, but also into death with him. What are some of the things that you may need to let go of or in a sense die to, in order to truly live for Christ in our world today? Do you ever think about your Baptism in those terms? You could intentionally renew those promises as an adult choice next time you pray the Creed?
Love in the Bible differs radically from the notion of “love” today, which is used primarily to convey heartfelt emotion. The love Jesus refers to could be expressed as like the deep attachment family members have for one another. It conveys the meaning of being permanently attached, staying connected with one another no matter what. As disciples we are called into a profound attachment to Christ akin to a revolutionary realignment of every facet of our life. The choice is presented starkly here to help us appreciate the depth of the call and commitment Jesus asks us to choose, but also the depth of the reward that is faithfully assured.
SOURCE: Living the Word resources are created by Fr Frank Bird a Marist priest and Mrs Bev McDonald, ACSD, distributed by Marist Laity Auckland, NZ
1. Jesus never wanted suffering for any- one but he knew that if anyone was go- ing to follow in his footsteps promoting love and respect for every person, they would meet with opposition. Fidelity has its price, but also rewards. Would you agree?
2. The passage is a call to both radical and practical discipleship. When have you found that in order to achieve a cer- tain objective you had to make it a prior- ity, and then take the practical steps nec- essary to reach your goal? What were the benefits to you when you did this?
3. ‘Hate’ (in the Lucan version) is prophetic exaggeration for the uncom- promising loyalty Jesus seeks in disciples. There may be times when people make demands in conflict with fidelity to an- otherrelationship. Thiscanbepainful. When have you found that being clear about your priorities helped you in that situation?
SOURCE: Hearers of the Word
What are today’s prophets talking about? Ending gun violence? Clean air and water for third world countries? Justice for all races? If prophets speak to transform society, is there some corner of your world you can change for the better? If you feel inadequate about transforming society as a whole, is there anything in the readings that tells you it is all right to start small?
Think of ways God might use you if your attitude is Christ’s and you put yourself at the disposal of God’s saving work in the world.
Who is blessed, the one who gives the help or the one who receives it? Are you always the giver or do you need to receive at times?
No Reflection available for this week
SOURCE: Portland Diocese
Did you grow up in a home that offered hospitality to others? In what ways does your parish show hospitality to newcomers? In what ways could it do a better job?
Dying to the false self is usually not easy. What can help us in this process?
In the Gospel, Jesus says that the giving of a glass of water will not go unrewarded. What are other examples of small acts of love that you and I can practice?
Name one thing today’s Gospel says to us that we disciples of Jesus need to heed and act on.
SOURCE: Ascension Catholic Parish, Melbourne, FL
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by Edrianne Ezell
Sunday Scripture Study
Why and how did the woman of Shunem show hospitality to the prophet Elisha? How was she rewarded? What other biblical figure does this remind you of? (see Luke 1:5-25)
What are the principal effects of Baptism? What is Paul alluding to when he describes this mystery? How does Rom 6:11 relate to the Gospel reading for this Sunday?
What is the standard that Jesus sets forth as a requirement for being his disciple? What is the price? What is the reward?
What image comes to mind of those who receive Jesus’ disciples as if they were receiving him? How is this like receiving a king’s envoy or the ambassador from a head of state?
Who are the “little ones” in this verse? Why do you think Jesus refers to them in this way?
What kinds of divisions has Jesus caused in your life? What would you do if Jesus asked you to turnaway from or leave those you love most?
How has the paradox of this verse worked itself out in your life? If you do not know, what might ”losingyour life” for Jesus’ sake mean for you?