It is usually a good thing to hear nice things said about you. When someone praises you for something that really went well, it is a good thing to hear. This is particularly true if the compliment comes from someone who is important to you. Children love authentic praise from their parents. So too do spouses from each other. A job performance review that is quite positive can be great to hear.
So, imagine the way in which the Colossians heard the words from Paul. There are really very good things that Paul identifies as examples of the praise he has for the Colossians. The similar reaction is seen in the way in which the people want to be connected to Jesus after he cures Simon’s mother-in-law.
But Jesus does not stop to take in his tremendous popularity. Maybe it is because he sees the fickle nature of it. Probably more so that he knows there are a seemingly limitless number of people that need to hear the good news.
But we are not Jesus? So how should we react when we receive praise for the faith and our lived witness to it? The first, and most important reaction should be gratitude. In a society where people long to take credit for things they did not do, we as Christians can fall into the same trap. But what we know as Christians is that everything we do is dependent upon the grace of God. And so whatever stance Christians take in life, we become grateful for the grace that God bestows upon us.
At the same time, we also probably have someone in our lives whose example of living the faith reminds us of the letter Paul wrote to the Colossians. They are living examples to us of how the Christian life should be lived. Maybe another response to the readings today is to take a moment to thank them for their example in your life.