Once again in the three year cycle of the Gospels that are read at the weekend liturgies we hear Jesus speak of how he did not so much come to bring peace to the world as to bring division. He longs for a world that is already ablaze with the Spirit, yet he recognizes that we, his people, his disciples, do not stand in unity.
What Jesus speaks of here when he says that households will be divided is that we all have choices to make; will we live as Jesus teaches, will we profess his love and mercy to his people, even our immediate families? Or will we live in disagreement, pointing out another’s fault, blaming others for the evil in the world, keeping silent when we ought to speak, or paralyzed when we need to act? Will we be strong enough to stand up against evil and profess our love for one another?
When I hear this reading from the Gospel of Luke, my first thoughts are why would a loving and forgiving God announce to his people that they will be divided? It makes me uncomfortable and seems counter-productive to the love that I know God to be.
But it also calls me to examine myself in light of how I live, how strong or not I believe in all that Jesus teaches, and about my willingness to stand up for good and denounce evil. So I come now to understand that the division that Jesus speaks of can strengthen our resolve to live and love all of God’s people. I never cease to be amazed at how Jesus teaches!
So, let us pray:
So, let us pray:
Dear Jesus, Teacher and Brother, gift us with your love that we might come to know its beauty in our lives and that we might find the strength to live it daily. Guide us as we strive to help others to know you and your love that we might together set this world ablaze with goodness! Grant us strength to stand strong against what is wrong and gift us your grace that we might be an instrument of your peace. Instill in us a desire to heal division and teach love. We ask this, trusting your Spirit is ever-present. Amen.
October 17, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC