Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sister Agnes Nelson, SNDdeN

Jun 28, 2023 | Gospel Reflections

July 2, 2023

Matthew 10: 37-42

“ Those who lose their lives for my sake will find life.
Those who give even a cup of water to one of these little ones
will certainly not lose their reward.”

What is it that would enable me to welcome another person, no matter who, with warmth and openness?
What is it that would enable me to reach out to another with compassion and self-sacrifice?

These were the questions that today’s Gospel provoked in me.

The focus seems to be away from self, on those who are excluded, ignored or suffering.

What I give might simply be my time, my presence, my joy, my unhurried ear, encouragement or hope. Gifts simple as a cup of water…..but sometimes rather costly!

These thoughts made me think about the volunteers with whom I work. They give so faithfully and regularly of their time and commit themselves to travelling in faith with people who are learning disabled, people who are normally ignored or excluded.

A poet once wrote of volunteers that they had not painted pictures nor carved statues, not composed songs ….but “had turned their free time into a work of art.”

These people are living icons of today’s Gospel

 looking outwards
 committing themselves
 giving their free time, their giftedness
 not looking for repayment
 working with others
 seeking training which shows the seriousness of their commitment to effective serviceWe pray:-

Awake my soul
To the compassion of the divine deep within you.
Awake to its sacred flow of feeling and its strong current for change.
Be true to it in yourself.
Set it free in others
Awake my soul
To the compassion of the divine deep within you.
Awae my soul. Awake. (*)

*From the book Sacred Earth, Sacred Soul by John Philip Newell



Matthew 10: 37-42

“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.
“Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever receives a righteous man because he is righteous will receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because he is a disciple—amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward.”



Meet Sister Agnes Nelson, SNDdeN

Sister Agnes Nelson entered the Congregation in 1965. She taught in Primary and Secondary Schools and worked for four years in a Family Learning Unit. Then from 1983-84 she studied the SPRED Method – a catechetical programme for children and adults with developmental disabilities in Chicago. Agnes returned to Scotland and has been involved in SPRED ever since. The work is amazingly life-giving despite the uphill struggle to support these people, and their families, to take their rightful place in the parish community. Training the catechists, who are all volunteers, is a delight. Scotland has proved to be a rich soil for this ministry as SPRED is now established in five dioceses and at present there is outreach to England and Malta. Malta SPRED has now been established from Glasgow.