Commentary: Wayback Machine.
'Tis also the festival of Saint Alexius of Rome, Confessor (fifth century), the "Man of God:" Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.
'Tis also the festival of Saint Hedwig of Poland (circa 1374-1399, A.K.A. Queen Jadwiga, of Anjou): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.
Scripture of the Day
The Book of Exodus, chapter one, verses eight thru fourteen & twenty-two;
Psalm One Hundred Twenty-four, verses one(b), two, & three; four, five, & six; & seven & eight;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter ten, verse thirty-four thru chapter eleven, verses one.
Commentary: Gospel reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today's Gospel, Jesus lays down the conditions for discipleship: "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; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."
There is [a] line from the illuminator of the St. John's Bible which states: "We have to love our way out of this." There is nothing wimpy or namby-pamby or blind about this conviction. When we love extravagantly, we are not purposely blinding ourselves to moral realities—just the contrary. Love is not a sentiment, but "a harsh and dreadful thing," as Dostoevsky said.
This is just what Jesus shows on his terrible cross. And this is just what we, his followers, must imitate. Taking up the cross means not just being willing to suffer, but being willing to suffer as he did, absorbing violence and hatred through our forgiveness and nonviolence.