Posted by: livingscripture | October 22, 2015

29th Thursday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

“Do you think I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.”     

(Luke 12: 51)

How should we live this WordimagesCARK0V2I

 If Peter and the Apostles still thought that staying with Jesus was a privilege, I think these words of His would have dissipated every doubt and open the horizon to an authentic following.  Jesus preaches peace, beatitude, communion…but He brings division.  The Kingdom of God is characterized by a violence that has nothing to do with the war and oppression that fill history books.  It is the violence of choosing, of the radicalism of taking a position.  It is the non acceptance of compromises, asked even of those dearest to us and to whom we owe obedience.  This paragraph is not exactly a parable.  He is using a metaphor to describe His desire ‘to set the earth afire and how He wished it was already lit’.   He then uses some images that are frequent in the Old Testament to give meaning to the fire He wants to light.

This is all to say that His peace and His beatitude are not to be identified with mistaken images that hide laziness and superficiality.  They are based on the integral will to express the image of God in us and to respect, love, and make emerge the image of God impressed on others.In my pause for silent contemplation, I will ask Jesus for the courage to understand and welcome the fire He wishes to light in my life.

Lord, help me not to be afraid to declare that I belong to You.  Let me be ready to lose my life for you and please safeguard those who are dying in the many persecutions going on in the world today.

 The Voice of Pope Francis

 Jesus says He has come to bring division.  Jesus does not want to divide us among ourselves.  On the contrary, Jesus is our peace, our reconciliation!  However, this peace is not the peace of the tombs, it is not neutrality, and it is not compromising at any cost.   To follow Jesus means to renounce evil, egoism, and to choose the good, the true, and justice even when this asks of us sacrifice and renunciation of our own interests.  The criteria are to live for ourselves or to live for God and others; to be served or to serve God in others.  This is how Jesus is a sign of contradiction.

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