Loving Jesus more than Family
One of the things that Jesus said that raises up a lot of questions comes from Matthew 10: “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.” (Matthew 10:37)
Here, it is vital to pay attention to the words that Jesus said. First of all, Jesus did not say do not love your father or mother, son or daughter; therefore, that dispels the misunderstanding that Jesus does not want us to love our family. What Jesus said was that whoever loves father, mother, son or daughter, or anyone, or anything else for that matter, more than Him, is not worthy of Him. Definitely, some are called to leave everything to follow Jesus, as the Apostles and other disciples did; but not everyone is called to do the same thing. Hence, under what other circumstances can a follower of Christ demonstrate that he loves Christ more than anyone or anything else?
Some people may think that the amount of time they spend in church, or helping out in a ministry, measures the amount of love they have for Christ. Some people may even think that it is okay to use what Jesus said as an excuse to avoid or forgo family or work obligations. However, just because some people spend most of their time at home or work, rather than in church does not necessarily mean that they do not love Jesus more. There are certain responsibilities that people have towards family, friends and work; spending lots of time attending to these responsibilities does not mean that one loves Jesus less. In many cases, attending to our day to day responsibilities does, in fact, demonstrate our love for Christ, especially if we offer our inconveniences, hardships and sacrifices to God.
One of the surest ways in which we can demonstrate our love for Christ, no matter where we are, or what we do, is what St. Paul wrote in his letter to the early Christians in Rome: “You too must think of yourselves as dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus.” (Rom 6:11) When we love Jesus so much that we no longer allow sin to control our life, then we become “dead to sin.” Being “dead to sin” means that we do not live in sin, even though we may still fall into sin time and again because we are not perfect; yet, we do not allow sin to linger in our lives, and we reconcile with God as soon as possible.
Another way in which we can demonstrate our love for Christ is by listening to what He had taught us, rather than listening to family, friends or others who offer advice that could lead us to sin. Above all, loving God is demonstrated when we obey Him rather than man. Jesus truly wants us to love our families, friends and neighbors; but we must love them in a way that does not stand in the way of our love for God.
Our Fourth of July BBQ this year will be held in our church parking lot. Everyone is welcome to join us and share two hours of fun, networking, entertainment and food from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. We will prepare hot dogs, hamburgers, Cuban sandwich, BBQ skewers, watermelon and corn. All are welcome to bring side dishes to share. There event is free, but goodwill donations are welcome. In order for us to prepare the right amount of food, please register with Angela Lau if you plan to come. If you would like to volunteer for the event, please register at the same time. Holy Mass on Tuesday, July 4th will be rescheduled to begin at 9:30 am; there will be no noon Mass.
After the 10:30am Sunday Mass (July 2nd), all volunteers for the Atlanta Food Bank will have a short Q&A meeting.
On the feast day of the Holy Martyrs of China, we will start having the offertory gifts brought up to the altar at the 10:30 AM Sunday Masses. It is customary that the family offering the Mass will bring up the gifts. Otherwise, the ushers will coordinate who will bring up the gifts.
We will have our monthly faith workshop immediately after Mass this morning. We will look at the lessons learned from the story of Saul and David. Please proceed to the Conference Room immediately after Mass.
Immediately after Mass today, Fr. Bill will administer the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick in the main church.
Prayer List: Huang Yanru, Lin Liehuai, Liang Chenjing, Pan Bohao, Angela Griffin, Long Guorui, Zhang Qiang and Xu Taicheng.