Gospel Reflection Aug 18 – Deacon Paul
Sunday, August 18
Twentienth Sunday in Ordinary Time
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.”
Fire? Division? Families set against one another? Was Jesus having a bad day? Was He depressed, rundown, moody because all He could see was suffering and death in his future?
No, I don’t believe Jesus was having a bad day. He was simply telling us a very important truth. For you see, Jesus knew that in the future the disciple’s faith in their Lord and their Christian discipleship would be severely tested. It would even mean that families would be divided – those who follow Christ and those who ignore and reject the hope and true peace that He is offering. He is providing His followers this warning now so they will not be shocked when following Jesus will mean some very tough choices. And what can be tougher than choosing between loyalty to family and loyalty to Jesus?
In our society today, there is opposition to the values of Jesus in situations like abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, sexuality, family, and many others. But friends, we must be disciples of Christ before all of society, even when it means rejection.
There is no doubt that this text contains uncomfortable words, but Jesus’ words are still true today. Remember this, that Jesus brings a different kind of peace. He brings us a peace with God through the forgiveness of sins purchased by His Holy, Precious Blood. That peace divides us from those who do not believe. To compromise is to forsake Jesus and join them.
Deacon Paul Zemanek