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.”
Do you remember, as a child, getting mad at a friend and in haste declaring that your friendship was over? Maybe it was over a game gone bad or teasing that went too far. Then, eventually, after some time to cool off, you realized that the cause of the separation was not as important as the friendship. Then, before you knew it, things we back to normal and your relationship continued to grow. It is unfortunate that as adults were don’t get over hurts like we used to.
Today’s gospel presents us with a very difficult passage because it is ominous and disturbing. Not so much because of what Jesus is saying but because we know it to be true in our world today. To say that we are a divided people is more evident than ever before. Relationships on all levels, personal, professional, faith-based fall apart so quickly. And when they do, the road back to recovery seems impossible. What happened to the resilience of our youth that enabled us to come to our senses realizing that our friendships, our relationships are more important than any issue we encounter?
For those who profess and make sincere attempts to live based on the life and teachings of Jesus, the pain of separation is a reality. But before we go and claim any type of martyrdom we must realize and accept that we are not the judge of humanity. We must go forward with the fire of the Holy Spirit and proclaim Jesus’ mission of salvation to everyone. Remember the Sower who scattered his seed in all directions. We must gird our loins and prepare for a spiritual battle that will result in much carnage and yet remain faithful to the mission and the one who calls us each to follow him.
Division is inevitable. Stay the course, finish the race, pray for everyone, and live a life that promotes the love, mercy, and forgiveness that transforms division into unity in the body of Christ.
Action of the day:
Pray for the grace to persevere despite the anguish the powerful message of Christ may cause. Jesus never said it would be easy but he promised he would always be by our side. The battles are never fought alone and remember the war has already been won.