When do words motivate us to act? Sometimes when the speaker is a beloved figure whom we trust. At other times when the words align with our own dreams and expectations. Or when the words are new and promising. When do the words of Jesus motivate us to act?
This Sunday we are confronted with the reality that we are not always going to like what we hear in God’s word. God’s word always takes us beyond where we are[or where we we want to go]. It is the very word which questions our status quo and asks us to give up our own wills and embrace God’s will. It is the very word which nudges us to surrender ourselves and our own world to encompass the larger vision of a world in which God assures that all are met with love and dignity.
Jesus’ words are not just nice sayings. They are challenges to change how we think, how we relate, how we live. As humans we resist such challenges that get to the core of who and how we are. What motivates us to hear Jesus’ prophetic words and internalize them is that he is the beloved One whom we can trust.
Announcing the message of the Gospel is one way we express our faithfulness in hearing God’s word. And, as those baptized into Christ’s death and resurrection, being faithful to God ‘s word always means dying to self for the sake of others. When we witness to a way of living that challenges others and their assumptions, we may well cause fury. Announcing the message of the Gospel is not undertaken for the sake of being accepted, but in order to be faithful to God’s word. Are you willing to take the risk?