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Good News for the Day, January 20, 2018
Saturday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time (316)

Jesus came with his followers inside a house. Once again, so many people gathered that it was just impossible for them even to have a meal. When his relatives heard about this, they were going to get him—people were saying, “He is out of his mind.” (Mark 3)

Jesus was out of the ordinary, as you are. Not to be out of the ordinary—as young people do—to stick out their tongue in a photograph, to show off their eating of drinking prowess, or to do some courageously stupid thing! … Not at all—but there is danger that we do feel the need to show off goodness, to display admirable qualities, to have a good reputation. Some of us rationalize and say that we want to be models of goodness, or we kinda let people know about some good deeds in passing, so that friends, relatives and others will think well of us.

Most followers of Jesus do in fact focus on the need, the person, the will of the Father to fix something. Sometimes, though, you and I feel just a little more conformist, a little more cowardly, a little more afraid to be thought that we are “nuts” for doing something people around us will see as stupid. (We don’t like to be called “stupid.”; we don’t want to be embarrassed by being stupid in public.

And yet, it seems to me that that the cost of discipleship—the readiness to accept that criticism from the weight of our environment—to be called stubborn, stupid and arrogant, when we know we are just doing God’s will.

No matter what names, disdain, dislike or even hatred gets expressed against us, it all depends, in the end, on prayer and Presence—that The Good and Loving God is with us, On our Side—and not an ideology, a personal attitude of some negative kind or obedience to a cultural wave. The Good News is our independence from all of that.

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