Leaning into Discomfort

– Memorial The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary –

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites.” [Matthew 23:13]

Jesus is telling it like it is in today’s Gospel and he isn’t holding back. Whenever I hear someone call Jesus gentle or sweet, I can’t help but think of moments like this in the Gospel when Jesus wasn’t afraid to call people out. While there are many facets to who Jesus is, in today’s Gospel, he doesn’t shy away from the discomfort of the moment, because the message he has to share is too important to hold back. He is willing to persevere through the discomfort because on the other side is redemption, is salvation, is wholeness.

While Jesus is explicitly challenging the scribes and Pharisees, he doesn’t do it simply to judge. He challenges them because he LOVES them. He loves them too much to allow them to stay where they were. He loves them too much to condone the disposition of the hearts of the scribes and Pharisees. He calls out the toxic culture and says enough is enough.

Jesus doesn’t want empty actions and legalistic mentalities. He wants hearts and minds that are turned to him and that are seeking to reflect him. He will challenge us to help us there. He will love us to help us there. Our culture encourages us to seek comfort, and yet our journey towards who God is calling us to be, happens outside our comfort zones. Let’s not run from discomfort, but rather sit with Jesus in those moments and ask him, “Jesus, what are you saying to me in this moment? Show me. Teach me.”


by Teresa McGrath

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