Today’s Gospel passage ends a section on the conditions disciples may face as they do Jesus’s mission in the world. Only those ready to give up everything to follow Jesus are worthy of the name “apostle.”
Certainly, Christ’s best representatives are those who have achieved a level of holiness that only a few can attain. These are our saints, who are models par excellence of discipleship. We can add our pope and all who have followed in the line of Peter; our bishops, successors to the apostles; and those who have given up their own family ties to be bound in service to the church through the priesthood and religious life.The courageous act of hospitality as simple as giving one of God’s own a cup of water deserves the same reward reserved for the righteous. Click To Tweet
And yet, Jesus could not have meant that the work of mission is reserved only for these holy ones, as if the real disciples are only the canonized, consecrated, ordained, or trained. Today Jesus reminds us that the courageous act of hospitality as simple as giving one of God’s own a cup of water deserves the same reward reserved for the righteous.
Let us recognize that all the baptized are apostles “since the life of the Church is apostolic” and by their baptism are sent to work “actively in evangelization and the building up of the Church by the testimony of their life and their profession of faith” (Ad gentes, 14).