Today’s Gospel: Luke 12:49-53 – 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Have you ever longed so desperately to draw a loved one back to Christ that you wanted to shake them? Today’s Gospel finds Jesus declaring, “I have come to cast fire upon the earth, and would that it were already kindled!”
So often, in Scripture, God is described as “a consuming fire” that burns for love of us. Images of the Sacred Heart are alight with flames. No milquetoast Savior, Our Jesus; He burns, and He calls us to burn, too. The impatience of Jesus to save the people He has called his “little flock” (Luke 12:32) is full of urgency and compassion. He longs to kindle the spark of His own divine life in each of them, to awaken in them the connection that will liberate their souls and heal their lives. Yet, He promises conflict.
He goes on to warn that within our own families, there will be division, with “father against son … mother against daughter … mother-in-law against daughter-in-law.” It is achingly familiar to many of us, this picture of family life. Hampered by sin and blinded by pride, we live that separation on a daily basis.
But in Jesus we encounter a thrilling, supernatural hope. Out of the clash of ideologies, wills, and wants, a Christ-like response can send sparks of sacrificial love into the atmosphere of our homes, to catch fire in our hearts, and burn away the darkness. Instead of defensiveness, He inspires us to listen graciously and humbly. In place of anger, He offers a courageous compassion that looks for the good in others and draws it out. And in the glow of His grace outpoured through us, a longing for unity in our families lights a path back to Jesus.
How might I bring the fiery love of Jesus into the smallest moments of my life? And how would my family life be different, if this were my burning passion?
Lord, draw me to Yourself in Scripture, Holy Mass, confession, and the Rosary. Help me to fall in love with You. Cultivate within me a passion for giving others Your heart! Amen.
Copyright 2019 Lisa Mladinich
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