“I CAME TO CAST FIRE UPON THE EARTH” (Luke 12:49)
⏰Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)
📖Jer 38:4-6, 8-10; Ps 40:2, 3, 4, 18 (R.v.14b); Heb 12:1-4; Luke 12:49-53
🎤”I CAME TO CAST FIRE UPON THE EARTH” (Luke 12:49)
My dear, in order to understand the drama in today’s liturgy, we shall need to go back to the focus of the Thirteenth Week of the Ordinary Time when Jesus challenged his disciples on the need to remain focused on the call to discipleship. On that day, Elijah was indignant with Elisha for his reluctance at the call (cf. 1 Kgs 19:19-20). As for Jesus, there are no two ways; it is either you are with him or not – no room for hypocrisy (cf. Luke 9:62).
Therefore, the opposition that the Gospel of today talks about is based on our devotion to God. Remember what Jesus told the disciples in John 16:16, “You are in the world but you are not of the world.” So, as the darkness cannot withstand the power of the Light, so shall those who are not for God feel uncomfortable in the presence of those who are for God. Ordinarily, that would engender friction in form of war. From here, we can understand why Jesus said that he has not come to bring peace but war.
The symbol of fire was introduced to separate the good from the bad. Of course, the good enjoys a pride of place while the bad looks on in envy. This is what brings about the war.
That war was already on for Jeremiah in the First Reading. Those who were troubled by the message of truth that he preached planned evil for him. For a moment, it seemed that they had succeeded. But, remember that one with God is in the majority. So, God used the same means (the King) they used against him to save him. So shall it be for you! Whatever the enemy plans to use for your downfall shall be transformed to lift you up. Amen.
To ensure that we have that protection, the author of the Letter to the Hebrews, once more, enjoins us to persevere in righteousness even when the enemy turns against us. There, Jesus is given to us as a sign. Just as he endured the Cross and became triumphant in the end, so shall we be triumphant if we persevere in righteousness.
What is your decision today? Are you going to remain faithful and focused in following Jesus or are you going to follow the trend of the world and fall out of the favour of God?
The decision you take on this would determine whether you are going to enjoy peace under the Prince of Peace or perish in war from opposition to him. May he grant you the grace to follow him faithfully and so enjoy his peace. Amen.
Have a peaceful Sunday. Peace be with you.