Isn’t This Joseph’s Son?

One night, not so long ago, I was praying and asked to know where I was not one with God.  The next day, a knock at my door and for the next hour, I found out where I was not one with God!  Be careful of what you pray for!

We find it easy to speak to people when we have pleasant things to say and they are obviously glad to hear them.  On the other hand, we tend to shy away from delivering words of confrontation, criticism, challenge.  Neither do we ourselves like to hear such negative remarks. Yet at the same time, we realize that growth often results from what we really do not want to hear.

Our Gospel today challenges us to stand pat on the truth of God’s word even to stake our life on it.   While the Gospel is always Good News, it is not always comfortable, because it stretches us beyond where we are right now. Our response can be amazement or fury, welcoming Jesus or expelling him from our midst, growing in discipleship or stagnating in narrowness.

If the chatter at work grows uncharitable or coarse, do we have the courage to walk away?  If prejudice exists among our friends and acquaintances do we have the courage to extol the dignity of the minority? Do we have the courage to place Gospel values before any others and are we willing to stake our lives on them?

The real challenge comes when we are nudged to live the Gospel. What determines your response?