Setting the World on Fire


Thursday of the 30th Week in Ordinary Time

Rom 6: 19-23; Lk 12: 49-53

Dc. Larry Brockman

Sounds more like a politician than Jesus- dividing brothers and sisters and separating dads and moms from their children.  Is that what Christianity is all about, setting the world on fire and causing divisions in families?  How can that be? 

Well, I think Jesus emphasis is on something other than dividing people. He is talking about the excitement he is feeling over his knowledge of the impending fulfillment of His mission on earth- his death and resurrection.  He is excited because his sacrifice will bring with it our redemption and our salvation with the reward of eternal life.   He is excited, because knows all of us can be saved; but not without the consequences.  And the consequences are the divisions among families and discord because the Kingdom of God and the secular world are at battle with each other.  Nowhere is this clearer than in our first reading.  Because we want to be comfortable; to feel good, and to be free of pain,.we cater to our bodies, to the flesh.  Paul advises us to put aside the flesh, because ultimately it leads to death.  Rather, we are to become slaves to Christ, and that leads to sanctification and eternal life. 

So, let us join with Jesus in his joy, the joy he feels over the success of his mission.  We have been saved through the saving work of Jesus.  And if we commit to a life that puts God first, rather than satisfying our bodily passions, even though that may alienate us from some of our families, we can rejoice in the knowledge that we have sealed our ultimate happiness. 

And if we take the message seriously, we can yet set the world on fire with our efforts to evangelize in fulfillment of Jesus desire.

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