Perhaps, like me, you remember these lines from the old Robert Frost poem: “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood … and I — I took the one less traveled by… .” Part of being a disciple of Jesus Christ is to be “countercultural.” We must not look at our world through rose-colored glasses. We need to discern what in it is good — that is, in line with Jesus’ teachings — and what is less compatible. And then we need to act in a divergent way. I meet with a dad of twin teenaged sons, helping him master his second language, English. He often shares how anxious he is that his boys know the difference between “good and evil” in their high school worlds. Jesus was seen as the successor of his cousin John the Baptist; he began his public ministry after John died for his courageous speaking against Herod. Today’s first reading is about how, when Jeremiah criticized King Josiah, his life was threatened. But prophets did not only speak out regarding the politics of their day. They (including Jesus) also spoke against excessive riches at the expense of the poor, against using others sexually, against revenge instead of forgiving enemies, against power plays instead of serving others and so on. Jesus also acted counterculturally. Contrary to the racism of his culture, he interacted with and even healed people who were shunned by Jews. Counter to his culture that regarded women as insignificant, he interacted, healed and praised them. In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples about the cost of taking that road less traveled by. When they preach about him, some of them will be killed. So our Sunday Scriptures ask us to consider a number of things. Who in my world is a model or hero for me in standing up for good? Where do I see our culture diverging from the good? How do I do my own speaking out as a discipleship? Uncomfortable Scriptures today ask me uncomfortable questions.
— Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia