Daily Reflection
October 21st, 2004
Steve Kline
Public Relations
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.

Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.
-- Luke 12:51

Fire is a symbol for God manifest on Earth.  Moses encountered the burning bush.  Ezekiel’s visions are laced with fire. When the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles, it took the form of tongues of fire, touching each of them.

Jesus wants to fuel the fire of faith.

I sense a certain exasperation on Jesus’ part in today’s passage from Luke, as if He is trying to drive home a point that his listeners don’t get. Just a few sentences after the reading for today, Jesus calls members of the crowd hypocrites and upbraids them as unable or unwilling to understand.

In saying his message will sow dissension in families, Jesus is simply giving us a fair assessment of our human nature: We make choices. We are free to make choices. And not everyone will agree with our choices. Of course the choice to follow – or to reject – Jesus will cause division, most especially in families. Families often disagree.

Sometimes, our own hearts are divided. We once returned from a vacation trip to find that our home had been broken into and vandalized. Our oldest daughter’s room was targeted. We suspected a neighbor girl about the same age as my daughter. When our suspect confessed and apologized, I felt anger and a desire to punish her. Fortunately I made a different choice. But I’m not sure my daughter understood when my wife and I, after discussing it, chose to forgive the neighbor child and leave the punishing to her own parents. It was a difficult time. How much more difficult for families when greater matters are stake!

My spiritual director, like Jesus in today’s Gospel, challenges me to examine daily whether my focus is on God or on myself. When the focus is on me, I am loyal to just about anything EXCEPT Jesus. If my focus is on God, I am loyal to the Lord who desires mercy and not sacrifice. Sometimes that puts me on a collision course with the rest of the world, my own family included.

Steve Kline has been a thoughtful and faith-filled reflection writer since the beginning of the Daily Reflections seven years ago.  Steve is leaving Creighton University and we will miss his reflections.  We send him with our prayers for success in his new venture.  You may contact Steve at stkcu@cox.net.

Click on the link below to send an e-mail response
to the writer of this reflection.

Let Your Friends Know About This Reflection By Sending Them An E-mail


Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook