Monday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time
"Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me"
It is to those who are on fire with love or, rather, those he wants to set on fire with this love, that our Saviour addresses these words. For our Saviour has not done away with, but regulated, the love we owe to parents, spouse, children. He did not say: “Those who love them” but “Those who love them more than me”... Love your father, but love the Lord even more; love him who brought you into the world, but love yet more he who gave you being. It was your father who brought you into the world but it was not he who created you since he did not know, when he bred you, who you would be or what you would become. It was your father who fed you but he is not the origin of the food that staunched your hunger. Finally, your father must die if you are to inherit his goods, but you will share the inheritance God intends for you while living with him eternally.
So love your father, but not more than you love your God; love your mother, but love still more the Church who has begotten you into eternal life... Indeed, if you owe such gratitude to those who begot you for mortality, what kind of love do you owe to those who begot you for eternity? Love your spouse, love your children as God does, to lead them to serve God together with you, and then, when you are reunited, you will not be afraid of being separated. Your love for your family would indeed fall short if you did not lead them to God...
Take up your cross and follow the Lord. Your Saviour himself, wholly God as he was in the flesh, clothed with your flesh, he, too, showed human feelings when he said: “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me,” (Mt 26,39)... The servant's nature with which he clothed himself for your sake caused his human voice, the voice of his flesh, to be heard. He took your voice so as to express your weakness and give you his strength..., and to show you whose will to prefer.