THEME: RECEIVING A PROPHET’S REWARD
READINGS: 2 Kings 4:8-11,14-16 / Romans 6:3-4,8-11 / Matthew 10:37-42
13th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Often in the newspapers, one finds stories on or congratulatory messages to various personalities who have received various awards. Among these awards is the award of honorary doctoral degrees. In this latter case, recipients of the award have not actually done nor completed the required academic work for the award of the degrees. It is, therefore, only honorary, though it is in recognition of their contributions to society.
Similarly, one may not be a prophet, but God may bless him/her with a prophet’s reward, if he/she contributes to God’s work by helping a prophet. Thus, in the first reading, a barren woman who provided food and shelter for the prophet Elisha was blessed with the gift of a son. Hence, our Lord Jesus Christ states the principle: ‘He who receives a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward’ (Matt. 10:41).
The prophet or righteous man or apostle is a messenger or servant of God. He is not embarking on his own mission but that of the Lord. Whoever, therefore, receives him is, in fact, receiving the Lord who sends him. Thus, Jesus enlightens the apostles He was about to send out: ‘He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives Him [God the Father] who sent me’ (Matt. 10:40).
Whereas the earthly honorary titles is transient and it is praised by only human beings, the spiritual title is eternal and it is praised by heavenly angels. If, therefore, many people go the extra mile (including paying huge sums of money) in order to obtain earthly honorary titles, let us be all the more eager to do all we can to receive the spiritual honorary title of the true prophets of God. Amen!
By Very Rev. Fr. John Louis