love me more than and get rewards from heaven

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INTRODUCTION

Today Catholic mass read Mt 10,37-42 (Italian) See English version below 

Jesus said according to Matthew that he is to be loved “more than” any once mother and father.

It is a extraordinary message that is difficult for many to accept. Even for me. But I came to think about what the word “love” really means.

INDEX

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The text

( N:B. The texts below are copied from www.christianwritingtoday.com/free_downloads/WebNT_CWTedition.pdf ). 10:37-42 says:

10:37 He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me isn’t worthy of me.
10:38 He who doesn’t take his cross and follow after me, isn’t worthy of me.
10:39 He who seeks his life will lose it; and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.
10:40 He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives him who sent me.
10:41 He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward. He who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man will receive a righteous man’s reward.
10:42 Whoever gives one of these little ones just a cup of cold water to drink in the name of a disciple, most certainly I tell you he will in no way lose his reward.”

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The message

10:37 He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me isn’t worthy of me.

What did Jesus  mean with “love more than”? Is it related to time or to the way you are in love?

“To love” means many things. According to Jesus love means to forgive like God does. Certainly Jesus do not ask us to forgive him more often than our parents.
So what did he mean with love more than? Maybe it is to be understood reading 10:38.

10:38 He who doesn’t take his cross and follow after me, isn’t worthy of me.

I think that the “love more than” has to be related to this last sentence. That means “love more Jesus” in the sense that we follow Jesus’ teaching rather that or more than our own parents teaching.

10:39 He who seeks his life will lose it; and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.
10:40 He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives him who sent me.
10:41 He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward. He who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man will receive a righteous man’s reward.

What is a prophets’s or a righteous man’s reward? 

orahportions.ffoz.org offers a reasonable answer to this question:

n the days of the apostles, Jewish families considered it a great privilege to be able to host a priest, a teacher, or a rabbi in their home. By providing hospitality to the servants of God, one could hope for some commensurate blessing from God….
About 10:41-42 https://torahportions.ffoz.org/  continues “That is not to say that hosting a prophet or righteous man will earn a person the reward due to the prophet or the righteous man. Rather, it will earn the gratitude of God’s servant, and God’s servant will bestow a reward in the form of a spiritual blessing. With these words,” 

“the Master alluded to the story of Elisha the prophet and the Shunnamite woman. A childless woman from Shunem hosted the prophet Elisha in her home. As a reward for her hospitality, Elisha bestowed a blessing upon her, granting her a son (2 Kings 4).” 

10:42 Whoever gives one of these little ones just a cup of cold water to drink in the name of a disciple, most certainly I tell you he will in no way lose his reward.”

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conclusion

I had to think about the meaning of “love” and “reward”.

I love my mother and father but I love Jesus too. But I have listened to and read Jesus Kerygma for more than 30 years now.  And I follow jesus kerygma more than the reaching of my parents. I even do not remember the teachings of my parents.

Todays reading has teached me about the meaning of love and about my relation to Jesus.

I do not act in a certain way because Jesus says to to do so.
Nor do i act driven by a hope of reward or a fear of punishment. I act as I do,  more because of he feelings following my act. Sometimes I repent actings of mine driven by my amygdala and limbic system. Following Jesus Kerygma is sometimes difficult like the “loving your enemie” and “forgive 7×77 times” but when I do it I feel well having done it.

 


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