Are you with me or against me? This is the choice Jesus presents to us in today’s gospel. As we heard, Jesus had performed a miraculous healing. Critics said his action was evil. Jesus said it was a sign of the kingdom of God. Then he said we needed to choose whose side we were on. If you think about it, this is a choice we need to make every day, if not several times a day.
On our worst days, we reject Jesus altogether. We’re like the people Jeremiah spoke about in the first reading: disobedient, disloyal, deaf to God’s word. On other days, however, we do want to side with Jesus…but only on our terms. In other words:
• We’re willing to sacrifice…within reasonable limits;
• We’re willing to forgive…those people who are truly sorry;
• We’re willing to love…those people we find lovable;
• We’re willing to give…so long as we receive;
• We’re happy to follow Jesus…as long as he goes where we want him to.
Today’s gospel reminds us that we can’t have it both ways. As Jesus said, the kingdom of God has indeed come upon us. And we need to choose to follow our king, without limit, and without compromise. So today when we hear his voice, let us harden not our hearts.
Readings for today’s Mass: http://www.usccb.org/nab/033111.shtml