Gospel: 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.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
The Mass intention is for Patricia & Michael K’s Intentions.
When the Baby Jesus was presented in the Temple, Simeon prophesied: “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed” (Luke 2:34-35). In His public ministry, He had followers, but He also had detractors such as the Jewish leaders. The division that Jesus has caused is not a division caused by a troublemaker. As Simeon has foretold, the division that Jesus brings was meant to reveal the inner thoughts of many. The Pharisees’ hypocrisy, for example, was uncovered by Jesus’ teaching.
This division affects even the most basic unit of society: the family. Jesus was opposed by His family who remarked “He is out of His mind.” (Mark 3:21). Down through the ages, many followers of Christ experienced a divided home. St Francis of Assisi was disowned by his father for following Jesus’ call to poverty. His first women followers, the sisters Sts Clare and Agnes escaped home to embrace a radical way of living out the Gospel. St Augustine initially locked horns with his mother St Monica who prayed incessantly for his conversion. St Thomas Aquinas’ family locked him away in a fortress for 2 years because they do not support his desire to become a Dominican friar. In the Lord’s Prayer, we ask God that His will be done. This takes priority over anything else. Unfortunately, this sometimes causes conflict within the family. Let us pray that such conflict would purify our homes so that the peace that Jesus alone could give would reign among us.
- Who takes priority in your life? Why or why not?
- How do you deal with family members who oppose your active participation in the parish?
- “The family that prays together stays together.” (Venerable Patrick Peyton) How often does your family come together to pray?
Lord Jesus, thank You for Your Word today. Through the prayers and example of Sts Francis, Clare, Agnes, Augustine, Monica, and Thomas give families the strength to follow You despite opposition from those around them. Amen.