Do you remember the reading we heard just two weeks ago? St. Paul, writing to the people of the city of Colossae, the Colossians, saying, “there is neither Greek nor Jew, slave nor free, circumcised nor uncircumcised, but Christ is all and in all.” Only in Christ are we one.
Then today, in Luke’s Gospel Jesus asks, “Do you think I came to establish peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.” This Gospel reading confuses many; why would Jesus say that He will cause division, one person against another, fathers against sons and daughters against mothers? He most often preached love, compassion and mercy. Yet, as parents attempt to teach their children, the children rebel. We as a people work to instill laws and policies for the common good and many not only do not accept them, they rebel and reject them. One sector of society works to welcome the stranger while another group opposes their actions. One political party opposes all that the other party stands for. There is indeed division in our world. Could it be that the division Jesus speaks of is how we come to right from wrong, good
from evil? And could it be that the division Jesus spoke of would be the impetus to our realizing that only with love, compassion and mercy will we all become one with God. Jesus stirs us up. He does let us become too comfortable in our ways. We know his way, we know the truth; God
offered himself in the sacrifice of his only Son, to assist in all becoming one with Him.
Jesus says he came to set the world on fire and he longs to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. I wonder if what we hear in that statement is the humanity of Jesus realizing that he cannot go this journey on earth alone, that he in his humanness needs the presence of the Holy Spirit with him. If Jesus Christ needs the Holy Spirit to accomplish his journey, how much more must we?
As Christians, by our baptism, we have received and carry with us that which Jesus longed for: the Holy Spirit. With the Holy Spirit we have the ability to be the impetus for change in our world, healing division to live in unity with all. Let us think about when and how we participate in division and then with guidance of the Holy Spirit and the love, compassion and mercy of God, let us each take an active role in achieving unity in our families, in our community, in our world.
With prayers for peace,
October 17, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC