October 20th, 2022

The Gospel according to Luke (12:49-53)

Jesus said to his disciples: “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

Reflection: When our eldest daughter was sixteen, she declared that she no longer wanted to go to church with us. Not only that but she no longer wanted to be considered Catholic as she was gravitating toward her then boyfriend’s family’s affiliation with Jehovah’s Witnesses. At first, I fought hard to convince her she was making a mistake. I tried Holy Scripture, logic, guilt, and anything else I could think of. We had many animated, emotional, and heated discussions and arguments. The division in our domestic church (our home) was difficult to say the least.

The mission of Jesus was to remind us of the fidelity, love, and commitment of God throughout His relationship with His people. Jesus was the fulfillment of God’s promise to restore what we had broken and provide us with an opportunity for eternal life with Him. And His message was simple, Love God and your neighbor as yourself.

But we do not live in a simple world. Our lives have become so full of distractions and diversions leading down a spiral of hedonism. It’s all about me and seeking my desires and pleasures. So, the simple approach of God’s greatest commandment will always create turmoil and dissention to those who have embraced the world’s view of “What’s in it for me”.

And, except, maybe for a few, we are all tempted by the lure of the pleasures of this world. But we are not of this world. Our time here is temporary and VERY brief! Our eternal life began the moment we were conceived but does not end with our physical death. We will exist forever. Where, better, who do we want to be with when our bodies are laid to rest?

Are our hearts on fire? Do our lives reflect a faith life that is blazing with zeal for the Lord? Yes, a true Christian will often be ridiculed, mistreated, or rejected when we live our faith as we are called to do. However, we do not reject the people of this world. We reject and oppose the forces and influences that lead people away from the love, mercy, and forgiveness of God. Let our yes to follow Jesus be sustained by the grace we need to persevere in our desire to resist the temptation of selfishness and embrace our place in the Body of Christ.

Action of the Day: The beauty of the gift of our life is that God only wants us to be who we were created to be. If you find yourself struggling because you are trying to be someone you are not, pause. Our faith journey is a lifetime of conversion. It does not happen at a specific moment or with one experience. Today pray for patience for yourself and others as we all navigate through the murky waters of this world on our way home.

Audio Reflection:

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