In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples to “be on your guard!”  What are the things that we will encounter today for which we need to be on our guard?

Is it gossip, which Pope Francis has called “terrorism of words”?  Through our destructive words, do we sow division and became the cause of “one of these little ones to stumble”?

Do we need to guard against distractions (television, social media, work) which prevent us from being fully present to others?

Do we need to guard against grudges, which make it difficult to forgive repeatedly (e.g. seven times a day)?

Do we need to guard against placing our faith in cultural messages which tell us that our value and worth is determined by things like wealth, status, abilities, attractiveness, and power?

Take a moment to imagine yourself in today’s Gospel. When Jesus looks at you and tells you to “be on your guard” what is it that he is asking of you?  How do you respond?

—Dave Lawler is the Director of Campus Ministry at Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha, NE.