Matt. 10:32-33 37-38 19:27-30 2023/06/11 Osaka Church
In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit
Christ said to his disciples, “He who accepts me before men, I will also accept him before my Father who is in heaven. But whoever rejects me before men, I will also reject him before my Father in heaven” (Mat 10:32-33).
“Such a man is unworthy of Me; I do not know such a man. Depart!”
These are very harsh words. Probably no one can think that they have this “worthiness” that Christ seeks. How can we follow this “hard-to-follow” Christ?
When thinking about this, there is something to remember. Just before the Eucharistic Rite, the priest calls out from the Alter, “The Holy things are for the holy”. The Holy things are the bread and wine, the The Eucharistic Body and the Blood of the Lord. These holy things are “worthy” for holy men. The Holy Apostle Paul says that anyone who “without being worthy” takes possession of the Lord’s body and blood is profaning the Lord’s body and blood and thereby “inviting judgment” upon himself (1 Corinthians 11:27-29).
We respond, “One is Holy. One is the Lord Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father. Amen,” . We confess “No one is worthy of it. Amen.” How can we be “holy” if we cannot even repent of our sins before God?
But the Lord said, “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you” (John 6:53). Yes, without Holy Communion there is no life, and we will perish. But if we receive Communion without being worthy of Communion, we will also perish. And we know this. Only one man is worthy of holiness, the Holy Eucharist. All of us are unworthy to receive Holy Communion. We are stuck.
But then, Christ invites us to take communion, “In the fear of God, and with Faith and Love, draw near!” He is well aware of the dilemma we face when we are stuck in a situation like this. He then commands us to eat this bread and drink this wine, which is the forgiveness of your sins and eternal life; take it and eat it. We walk toward the Precious Body and Blood.
We will not stop following Him in the end. We will follow Him, even if it is toddling, sneaking, falling, or stumbling.
Jesus, I will follow you even in this shameful way because if I lose sight of you, I can no longer live. You know better than I do what kind of person I am. Please have mercy on me.
That is true worthiness for Christ.
He who rejects me before men, I will also reject him before my Father in heaven” (Mat. 10:32).
Christ, who said this clearly, actually did not reject us. On the night of the Passion, Jesus’ disciple, Peter, the Lord’s first disciple, sneaked after Jesus when he was arrested, and when he was accused of being one of Jesus’ followers, Jesus forgave him, Who said “I don’t know Him, I don’t know such a person” three times (Mat.26:69-75). Three times he asked Peter, “Do you love me?”
All of the saints who are remembered today, were touched by this love of the Lord and followed Him.