Reflection by Kaye Park Hinkley
Today’s Gospel: Luke 12:49-5
Jesus sounds like an agitator here, doesn’t he? Someone who wants to turn over the tables, someone who wants to rock the boat, or shake us into the truth. He is shouting, so to speak, that we have been born into a dysfunctional environment where some in our world pay no attention to evil, and even condone it. He shouts that we are to rise against that evil, because if evil is left alone, it will fester and grow. So, we are to speak out as well. We are to rock the boat of evil’s complacency. And He will agitate us until we do.
This agitation comes out of Jesus’ love for us. He refers to it as a fire that He will kindle, knowing that His love for us will cost us something — valuable things always do. It may cost us divisions between our friends and family, because Jesus’s values oppose situations like abortion, euthanasia, sexual promiscuity, and more. So when we choose, by the grace of God, to turn over the tables of evil, we realize that it may not bring us earthly peace, and that when we speak up for those values, we may be challenged, ridiculed, or even faced with violence.
All this takes courage, a gift of the Holy Spirit. So, in this gospel, Jesus also speaks about His Baptism which begins His spiritual mission on Earth. Baptism is the way into a spiritual life for us, as well. When we become a sharer in the relationship of love between Father and Son, Baptism is the first sign, our first call to participate in Jesus’ ongoing redemptive mission.
Am I complacent about the evil I see in my world, or do I have courage enough to speak out against it?
Jesus, help me to assist You in carrying out Your redemptive mission, by giving me the courage and guidance of Your Holy Spirit.
Copyright 2019 Kaye Park Hinckley
Kaye Park Hinckley, the mother of five children and the grandmother of twelve, has seven published books of adult Catholic Fiction. Hinckley won the 2018 Independent Press Award for Religion Fiction. Her latest novel won Poets & Writers Magazine Maureen Egen Award, First Runner-Up.
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