Gospel Matthew 10: 37-42
Jesus said to his apostles:
"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 a righteous man
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 the little one is a disciple—
amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward."
Come Holy Spirit, Beloved of my soul, enlighten me, guide me, strengthen me and console me. Amen
"Whoever receives you receives Me." As I was sitting quietly praying my Lectio this morning, looking out the window pondering this one sentence, "Whoever receives you receives me", a red Cardinal flew over and landed on a branch right in front of my window and sat there staring at me (what a gift) and I felt God's presence with me. "Whoever receives you receives me", what tender and intimate words. Can you hear the place that you hold within His heart? Your worth in His sight? How you bring Him with you, wherever you go? How you are His representative? When I read the passage, I hear, what I 'look like' to Him. 'I look like ' a precious, and beloved one, and that takes my breath away and leaves me speechless - I'm 'blown away' by His Love. How is it, that Jesus sees me so intimately one with Him, so connected that He and I are one? Me a sinner? "Whoever receives you receives me." By saying this, our Lord chooses to identify Himself with us intimately. You are precious to Him and He considers you 'an extension' of His very Being, a 'carrier' of His very Presence. You go in His Name.
I love this painting. Only recently did I begin to appreciate the sacred artwork of Phillippe de Champaigne. This particular painting moves me because the lamb's face is so close to the face of Jesus. Let your face be close to His right now, right there, next to his cheek. How tender is it? Yet that is where we are, very close to Him. Looking at this painting, we can see how closely we journey with Jesus, no wonder our Lord says; "Whoever receives you receives ME", we are a 'package.' Jesus is with me and more than that, Jesus carries me, He is the one who brings me to the places He sends me...we go together. It is so clear why receiving me, IS receiving Him. A beautiful truth to recall is that, the person next to me, comes in His name too, they bring Jesus to me. Do I see Jesus in the person I am with right now? The person I am serving? The person I am loving and caring for? Look, he is there and Jesus will consider whatever is done to that person, as done unto Him. One of many beautiful memories as a Missionary of Charity, was hearing Mother say to us, as young sisters, in her deep guttural Albanian voice, as she held up one finger at a time on her right hand: "YOU DID IT TO ME" She said the Gospel mandate to "love" can be simplified in remembering whom 'we love' when we love another- It is Jesus...YOU DID IT TO ME!