With excellent timing, for me, Saint Paul in our second reading reminds us of the profound meaning of our baptism. Next Sunday I’ll be seeing four families as they prepare for their children’s baptism. Through baptism, we enter fully into life with the risen Christ, experiencing a profound transformation that shapes our very being.
Perhaps today, we might like to reflect on our own baptism, asking ourselves: How does the reality of new life in Christ shape our thoughts, words, and actions? The passage from Saint Paul reminds us that our Christian journey is a continuous invitation to let go of our old ways and live in the freedom and grace of our baptismal promises.
Turning to today’s Gospel, we may initially find Jesus’ words uncomfortable. He says, “Anyone who prefers father or mother to me is not worthy of me. Anyone who prefers son or daughter to me is not worthy of me.” At first glance, it may seem as though Jesus is disregarding the importance of family relationships. However, what Jesus is truly calling us to do is prioritise our love for him above all else because through him all love flows. He challenges us to take up our crosses and follow him wholeheartedly. While these words may seem demanding, they remind us that true discipleship requires sacrifice and dedication. Jesus assures us that when we receive others in his name and show kindness to even the least among us, we are also receiving him.
As we contemplate these readings, we are encouraged to embrace our baptismal identity and live as disciples of Christ. Let us remember that through our baptism, we have become partakers in His resurrection and share in His mission of love and service. May we seek to grow in love and compassion, recognising every opportunity to serve others as an encounter with Jesus himself.
Let us pray for the strength to carry our crosses and follow Jesus, knowing that he walks with us every step of the way. May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you always.