The Good News for the Day, July 17, 2017
Monday of the Fifteenth Week of Ordinary Time (389)

Jesus says to his friends and followers: “Don’t be thinking I have come to bring harmony on earth. I have come to bring not harmony but a hostile sword. I have actually come to set a man against his father, daughter against mother, daughter-in-law against mother-in-law—you will find disapproval in your own family. Anyone who prefers father or mother to me is not worthy of me, and anyone who prefers son or daughter to me is not worthy of me. Anybody not taking up their cross and following after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it; whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Anybody who receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the One who sent me. Whoever receives a prophet because they are a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever receives a righteous person because that person is righteous will receive a righteous person’s reward. Anybody who gives a glass of cold water to one of these common folks to drink because of being a disciple. The truth is—that generous person will surely not lose a reward.” Once Jesus finished giving these directions to his closest friends, He went away from that “home base” to teach and to preach in their towns. (Matthew 10)

You are called to change, to grow into being an adult Child of God. As an adult Child of our Father, you choose to accept the challenge, become new-born to a whole new way of life. This Life will meet antagonism from culture, family, your own habits and past, your deeply held principles. You have to leave your comfort zone, that like an invisible fence, warns you not to cross the line into places that involve tension, that oppose what you have been taught all along—and looks stupid, reckless, defiant, and ill-fated.

You are called to “carry the cross,” and your Nana and your sister may consider what you choose to be a bad choice. Your religious tradition, your childhood friend, and your aged teacher may all object. But you forge ahead courageously. You help the unworthy poor, you push for changes that benefit disabled strangers, you involve yourself in “common folk”; you give money and time to people who prove not grateful and may even try to hurt you. The Good News? The God of Kindness rewards you.

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