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Sunday, June 30, 1996

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13th Sunday Ordinary Time

2 Kings 4:8-11, 14-16
Psalm 89
Romans 6:3-4, 8-11
Matthew 10:37-42

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the lowdown

"I promise you that whoever gives a cup of cold water to one of these lowly ones because he is a disciple will not want for his reward." —Matthew 10:42

Jesus restated the traditional Jewish commitment to give hospitality to fellow Jews, especially to religious leaders, such as prophets and holy men (Mt 10:41). Then Jesus included His disciples, the "lowly ones" (Mt 10:42), with the prophets and holy men. This was a revolutionary statement.

Jesus calls simple, everyday people to holiness and prophetic ministry. The Lord's word spoken through the prophet Joel is fulfilled: "I will pour out My Spirit upon all mankind" (see Jl 3:1; Acts 2:17). "Yes, even on My servants and handmaids I will pour out a portion of My Spirit in those days, and they shall prophesy" (Acts 2:18). The great people in this world are not the learned and the clever; they are the merest children (Mt 11:25). Jesus has chosen "the world's lowborn and despised, those who count for nothing" (1 Cor 1:28). We become great not by becoming famous and rich but by being the servants of all (Mt 20:26). We become important not by human accomplishments but by the grace of Baptism. We become strong by choosing the weakness of the cross (see 2 Cor 12:9; 13:4).

Therefore, if you are wise in the eyes of the world, become a fool (1 Cor 3:18). If rich, choose to become poor (Mt 5:3). If prestigious, humble yourself (Mt 23:12). Be a "lowly one."

Prayer:  Father, may I decide to be lowly and thereby inherit the earth (Mt 5:5).

Promise:  "Through baptism into His death we were buried with Him, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live a new life." —Rm 6:4

Praise:  Alleluia! "Mighty are You, O Lord, and Your faithfulness surrounds You" (Ps 89:9).

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 29, 1995

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 4, 1995