Divisive. It is not common these days to think of Jesus as a divisive person. It seems the popular notion is that Jesus is a warm fuzzy teddy bear. He loves us. He does not challenge us. He never scolds us or thinks we do anything wrong or sinful. Jesus reaffirms what we already believe. But today is different. Today we read in the gospel about a Jesus that comes to bring division, not peace.
It is important to remember that being a Christian is not always easy. That is why we need grace. We need the help that God gives us to be faithful to our relationship with Jesus. Being a Christian means standing up for what is good and right. And there is a cost to us when we do so. Sometimes the cost is standing up for what is right and losing friends. Sometimes the cost is not giving in to fear and welcoming the stranger. Sometimes the cost is not accepting the priorities of the workplace and to make other aspects of life more important. And always the cost is recognizing that as important as family relationships and friendships are, there is no relationship more important than the one we have with Jesus.