Most people I know do not enjoy conflict and usually choose “peace at any price.” Today’s Scriptures are teaching that conflict is part of discipleship. Why? Because living by Jesus’ way, being “kingdom people,” inevitably conflicts with the ways of the world in which we find ourselves. In today’s Gospel, Jesus talks with his disciples about this, and about how conflict will affect him — he will be baptized with fire and is already “in anguish” as he reads the writing on the wall. Parents of teens know they need to prepare their young adults for leaving the nest so that they can stand on their own, and not just follow the crowd into harm’s way. Throughout our lives we are recurrently faced with situations where we need to live by our truth, even when it makes us unpopular, or puts us out of step within our work worlds or even our families. We need to speak truth and stand for good by what we do and do not do, what we say and do not say. And we need to consider when and how to do that, so that we do not act out of self-righteous judgments. It’s not comfortable, not fun, this aspect of discipleship. Today we ask for the Lord’s help with knowing how to handle the kind of conflict that comes from being his disciples.
— Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia