In this reading, Jesus reminds his hearers that following him and aligning your life with his can be costly. The world tells us that we should be merciless and self-sufficient – that the one with the loudest voice and the most toys wins. Jesus insists on mercy, dependence on God and on each other. He advocates for humility and justice and concern for the well-being of our neighbor. He elevates the least and calls out the elite. To align yourself with these values has the potential to put you in conflict with those who don’t. Living the life Jesus calls you to may put a strain on even your closest relationships. And yet, living this way not only leads to a deeper understanding and experience of God, it has the potential to impact the world around us in positive ways.
Has your faith in Christ ever caused difficulty in your relationships? Are you willing to endure fractured relationships on behalf of your faith in Jesus? What kind of division do you see in the family of Christ? How might aligning ourselves with Jesus make us better able to view things from another’s perspective?
In prayer, commit yourself to following the way of Jesus, even if it is not the easiest path.