20th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Athletes in the Olympic games put in endless hours of practice, pushing their bodies to the furthest limits - mentally and physically beyond what most people could handle - so that they can be the best in the world. Paul says today that all of us Christians are also in a contest and we are to "persevere in running the race that lies before us, while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus." As we run Jesus warns that we will experience push-back, adversity, that His message and our way of life will bring division because people won't like what we are doing or what we have to say - the Prophet Jeremiah was left for dead, Jesus was crucified, Paul was beheaded. But are we willing to fix our eyes on Jesus and keep running the race, no matter what kind of resistance we meet? Because that is what separates the mediocre from the great.