Daily Reflection
October 26th, 2006

Maureen McCann Waldron

The Collaborative Ministry Office
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Ephesians 3:14-21
Psalm 33:1-2, 4-5, 11-12, 18-1
Luke 12:49-53

“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....”

The startling message in today's gospel might be easier for our hearts to accept if we could imagine ourselves on the scene with Jesus. I can picture myself as a follower of his, journeying with Jesus for all of these months as he has traveled from town to town, teaching and healing and spreading his message of love, forgiveness and generosity. He ministers not to the rich and powerful, but to us - the poorest outcasts and those people considered the dregs of society, those without hope. He has taken us, his closest friends, with him on this journey and tried to show us over and over again what self-giving love really is. I'm not sure why but we never seem to quite get it and we bicker among ourselves about securing the best place in the Kingdom.

He tries to reassure us of the Father's love but I worry -- all of us worry -- about so many things and are afraid. The closer I get to Jerusalem, the stronger his message seems to be, the more challenging to the authorities -- and the more timid and fearful I grow. I just wanted to hear about love and comfort. I don't want to hear about the cup that is waiting for him or the sufferings that are ahead. I want to follow him ... but can't I just watch from a little distance?

Then I hear him say that he comes to bring division into families and I quake with more fear. My family already has enough problems. Do I need Jesus dividing it more? But I look into his face as he speaks and see the passion and fire in his eyes and I realize that fire burns there for me. The knot in my stomach dissolves and my fear shreds like an old cloak I have wrapped myself in for too long.

I catch the blaze in his eyes and feel the Spirit in my heart. Jesus' message is for me. He wants to jolt me to attention with his language and invites me to receive it fully and open my heart to it no matter what the results, even discord in my own family. Yes, my family and friends will be uncomfortable if I take a different path. The world and my culture will tell me how wrong I am for following his path instead of the one to riches, honors and comfort. But now I realize, it is not just his path, it is mine.

Be with me, Jesus and give me the strength and fire of your heart. When I take the time to listen, my heart longs to answer the call I hear in your radical words. Now, more than ever, I need courage - your courage. Let me humbly serve you by spreading the fire of your words throughout the earth. I tremble in fear but then I remember- you will be with me always.

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