No Compromising

WayAs Jesus announced his mission, he made it clear that there would be no compromising. Called to repentance and challenged to be ready, discipleship would most likely divide households and communities. He knew already that there were divisions among the Jewish leaders. He warned his followers that they, too, might face divisions among their own families. While these repercussions would cause pain, it would also mark the coming of God’s Kingdom.

This is a bad news, good news gospel. The bad news is that Jesus’ coming throws the world headlong into fire, anguish, division. The good news is that, in spite of Jesus speaking to the contrary, he does grant peace—to his disciples after his resurrection. His gift of peace, however, does not eliminate the fire, anguish, and division. These painful consequences of faithful living sharpen the choice each of us must make: to be “baptized” with Jesus into his suffering and death. Bad news. Good news. We live with both. We make our life choice in face of both. [Living Liturgy 2013]

None of us chooses to live our discipleship for its shock value! We are, however, always faced with such consequential choices. We are hardly called like Jeremiah to announce to the Israelites that their beloved Jerusalem will fall into the hands of the Babylonians—nor are we thrown into a cistern to die! Nor like Jesus will we be nailed to a cross because of our preaching. Nevertheless, we are called to be faithful to God’s word in the small, everyday things as well as at times when the more serious challenges come along. We do not seek division, but we do seek consistency in living Gospel values. We do not seek anguish, but we do suffer with Christ when it comes. The closer we come to Christ, the hotter the fire becomes! The very way we live our lives is Gospel fire. Sometimes strife and division are a sign of our faithful commitment. Gospel living is not always easy! The real shock is that we choose it and are faithful.