Today’s Gospel: Luke 12, 49-53 – Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
If taken out of the context of the rest of the Gospel, today’s readings can be both startling and confusing. While Jesus spoke often of peace, his message of the Good News invoked anything but peace for those who were reluctant or unwilling to change. Our society today also misleads in convincingly promoting the possibility to hold in tandem oppositional values of hate-love, greed-generosity, inequality-justice, and indulgence-temperance.
These are the crossroads that each of us faces in our everyday decisions to choose to be transformed by the Gospel. Jesus reminds us here that we cannot pursue both paths if we are to follow him. Our commitment to Christ then is to be a marked division from that which does not embrace the truth of his love.
So too, it is a good reminder that there needs to be a passion and fire about who we are as Catholics and who Jesus is in our lives. Does this mean entering into heated arguments or distancing ourselves from those we love but who live in contradiction to the Gospel? No, then we are neither present nor a compelling witness to the Good News we profess.
What it does entail, however, is mutually opening up to the love of Christ and to the realization that we are, in fact, loved. It is to courageously and persistently witness this truth with our very lives. God is waiting on our yes, Christ is counting on our yes, and the Holy Spirit is there to embolden us with the strength needed to express our yes to others.
Can you remember a time when you decidedly choose between where you felt God was leading you and where others wanted you to go? Why is it such a challenge to veer from the agendas of others?
Lord, we ask for your help to not be consumed by the things of this world but transformed by your love. And for those times when are challenged to authentically witness truth and love within our families and communities, may we choose to walk your path and keep our eyes fixed on you.
Copyright 2016 AUTHOR
Elizabeth Reardon, host of An Engaging Faith, is a wife, mother, Catholic lay minister, and speaker. Elizabeth’s passion lies in connecting the faith to the work of justice and reconciliation. Her writing, often Ignatian in practice, is an invitation to seek and create space for God in the midst of the busyness of everyday life. Visit Theology is a Verb.