Then in the second reading St. Paul reminds us that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses but there is a race that lies ahead of us and that running that race may cost us our lives. And in the Gospel Jesus recognizes that not everyone who has heard his word or seen his miracles will believe in him. He also recognizes that faith in him will be the source of division on all levels, both communal and familial. And yet his zeal and excitement for preaching the Reign of God is like a blazing fire already setting the world afire!
Jesus knows that discipleship comes at a cost and he wants his disciples to understand just what they may have to pay for their discipleship. Putting our discipleship into action and standing against unjust political policies that hurt the immigrant, the poor or the marginalized, speaking out for gun control any of these realities may get us labeled unpatriotic. Questioning the ethics behind a particular practice at our work place may get us labeled difficult or insubordinate. Standing up to a bully at school on behalf of another may get us labeled all kinds of nasty things meant to shun us. Living our discipleship is no easier for us than it was for Jeremiah or for Paul, we need to remember that we do not run the race alone but that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses and filled with the vary presence of the Risen Christ…thus are we able to set the world ablaze by manifesting the Reign of God by what we say and do! What is the cost of my discipleship? How will I show forth my discipleship this week?