"You must try to continually overcome yourself in those daily struggles that the Lord presents to you." "Don't desire anything but what you are; concentrate on perfecting yourself and on carrying crosses, either small or large, that you will encounter on your journey to Heaven."- Back of a Padre Pio prayer card.
Gospel Text: (MT 10:34—11:1)
Jesus said to his Apostles:
"Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth.
I have come to bring not peace but the sword.
For I have come to set
a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
and one's enemies will be those of his household.
"Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me,
and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;
and 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.
"Whoever receives you receives me,
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."
When Jesus finished giving these commands to his Twelve disciples,
he went away from that place to teach and to preach in their towns.
To follow after Christ is not always easy, yet it is the journey with the most rewards. The challenges may, indeed, be of this earth, but the rewards surely are not!
… 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.