1993 June 27 – 13th Sun (Bulletin Letters)
Cycle A – 13th Sun Ord
Mt 10, 37-42
“Whoever loves father or mother, son or daughter, more than me is not worthy of me” Matthew 10:37
I’m in the midst of a three-week run of family events that will put me on the road to Des Moines three weekends in a row. Last week I witness the marriage of my nephew Chad, this Saturday I was in Des Moines for the Sposeto family reunion on my mother’s side and next weekend I will be in Des Moines for a Rand family reunion on my father’s side. The last time Rands got together, over 500 people showed up!
My extended Italian American family has always been an important part of my life. So when Jesus tells us in today’s Gospel from Matthew not to put love of family over our love of him, I wonder what he meant. Isn’t the measure of our love for our family a sign of our love for God? How can they be at odds?
It’s a bottom line issue with Jesus. He wants to know where our ultimate loyalties and love reside. It’s not always the evil things that compete for our loyalty and love for Jesus and his Gosple. Sometimes, very good things can get in the way of our following in Jesus’s footsteps. Families and the responsibilities for taking care of them can be used as excuses for not living out the Gosple mandates. More often than not, our love for our own families limit our vision and concern for others. Too often people use their personal family obligations as an excuse for not doing what they know is right and needed for the larger community.
93 06 27
I got a letter this week from a friend of mine, Kathy Boylan. Kathy is a long time peace activist from Wyandanch, New York, a mother of five and is currently sitting in the Newport News, Va. jail. She is awaiting trial for her participation in the Good News Plowshares. She and two friends entered the Newport News Shipbuilding Co. yard at 3 a.m. on Good Friday last April 9th. They boarded a fast attack submarine and spray painted “Christ Lives, Disarm!” on the launch covers of a cruise missile launcher and than poured human blood into the missile tubes. They were arrested soon after and have been in jail ever since.
Kathy has taken such risk before. She has done time in jail too. And from all accounts she has been a great mother for her children. The needs of her children have been met through out her years of peace and justice work. For Kathy, her love for Jesus and her love for family has not been an either/or proposition but a both/and endeavor. What’s important is to know which comes first, love of Jesus and his Gosple or love of family. Truth is, if you put Jesus first you can do both, but if you put family first you’ll do neither well.