Twentieth 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.”
Introductory Prayer: I believe in you my God. You called me into existence from nothingness and carefully watch over me. You have even numbered the hairs of my head. I trust in your infinite goodness, and I abandon into your loving hands my fears, my hopes, my needs, my desires, everything. I love you Lord, and I wish to love you with all my mind, heart, soul and strength.
Petition: Jesus, use me to set the earth ablaze with your love.
- Set the Earth on Fire: When Jesus talks about setting the earth on fire, he is referring to the fire of his love. You could even say that he is thinking about the Holy Spirit. When you read these words of Scripture and listen to them with the ear of your heart, you cannot help but be impressed with the passion of Christ’s love, the desire he has to possess our hearts and be united to each and every one of us. Notice that he does not have a narrow focus when it comes to sharing his gift of love. He came to give his life as a ransom for us men and for our salvation. He shed his blood for all so that sins would be forgiven.
- Jesus Is Dying to Die for Us: Jesus knows that he is going to die for our sins on the altar of the cross. He knows he is going to shed his blood for us and be plunged into the depths of the dead in order to restore life to the righteous and to open the gates of heaven to all those who believe in him. He knows that his death and resurrection will bring salvation and eternal life to the whole world. He cannot wait to bring about this miraculous reconciliation between the human race and his heavenly Father. He yearns and is anxious to fulfill his mission as savior of souls and glorifier of the Father.
- Jesus Can Be a Source of Division: What Jesus is driving at here is that his message and mission are more important than any family tie. Sometimes our relationship with Jesus will be disquieting for our family members, especially if they are living in sin or being especially selfish or unjust in any way. Moreover, when children get married or answer their call to religious life, parents and in-laws can become envious of the new spouse or angry at the religious community. But Christ wishes us to answer his call, which he has prepared for us from all eternity. It’s good to keep in mind that when we opt for the path Our Lord has in mind for us, we’re choosing a good, not the division that may result for a time from that choice. We need to rely on Christ’s grace to maintain kindness, humility and joy at all times with everyone. These are sure signs of being blessed by God.
Conversation with Christ: Jesus, set my heart on fire with love for you. You have given me everything that I have. Everything I have is yours. Take it and use it for the glory of your name, the salvation of souls, and the establishment of your Kingdom.
Resolution: I will reach out and invite somebody back to Church this week.