Thursday, October 22, 2015

Reflection: Luke 12:49-53

Thursday of the 29th Week in Ordinary Time - Luke 12:49-53

Today’s Gospel is a bit sobering.  In his opening words, Jesus tells the disciples: “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!”  He continues talking about the baptism with which he would be baptized and the anguish he would experience in this process.  He also warns his disciples that he has not come to establish peace on earth but rather division.  He says that a household of five people will be divided.  Father and son will be divided against each other as will a mother and daughter, and mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law.  What difficult words these must have been for the disciples to hear.  Were they confused?  Or were they simply frightened by Jesus’ words?
Then Jesus asks his disciples a question: “Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth?  No, I tell you, but rather division.”  He then talks about households being divided and family members turning on each other.  What is the message Jesus is trying to convey to the disciples (and to us)?  Is he trying to open our minds and hearts to the reality of our world and the reality of our human condition?
In today’s world, every morning we see and hear multiple stories of division and violence: in families, cities and countries.  Perhaps the most frightening stories are the acts of violence and destruction that take place in our own country: our cities, our neighborhoods and perhaps  within our own families.
What is the message Jesus is trying to convey to us?  Is he trying to frighten us?  Or is he simply hoping to awaken us?  Is Jesus trying to motivate us to live peacefully, lovingly, cooperatively and respectfully with each and every person on earth?  Even the individuals we may not like or agree with? 
Now, take a moment and imagine a world where every single person was respected and honored simply because they are a human being whom God created in love.  You are one of those individuals and so am I. Every individual on earth was created from God’s loving heart.  And yet, we “war” upon one another with our words, our actions, and violence. 
Today I invite you to think of an individual you struggle with.  It may be someone who has hurt you or angered you.  Or it may be a person you simply don’t like or one who grates on you.  Now, quiet yourself and image that person in your mind for a moment or two.  Then surround that person with acceptance, peace and joy.  Stay with this image or thought for 2 or 3 minutes.
You have given this individual a loving gift today.  True, they may not consciously recognize what you have done.  However, their “spirit” will know that someone has gifted and graced them today!  And be alert and attentive!  Perhaps you will receive a similar gift!

No comments:

Post a Comment