Today’s Gospel while mystifying--I recall more people mentioning that they do not understand it, especially the final verse in which Jesus stresses that He has come to sow division--than any other. A possible explanation is that Jesus knew that the life He led and the message He brought, while welcome to the outcasts of the society, was definitely not welcome among most of the Establishment. Therein would most likely breed a division between those who would follow Him and those who would not.
And yet, Jesus was so fired up by the Good News of God’s Love that He was urged to share with anyone who would listen. He was compelled to speak His truth and let the “chips fall where they may.”
What, if any, Truth are we willing to share despite our fear of stirring things up?
Do we have experiences that assist us to integrate the message of the First Reading from St. Paul to the Romans? Is there something in our past that we have been graced to leave behind lest it continue to enslave us? Is there something in our present that continues to shackle, not free us? Can this be the day when we are finally graced to say: “Enough!”?
Finally, a word about the St. Paul of the Cross, whose feast is today. He believed so thoroughly that the love of God is demonstrated in Christ’s Passion that he was led to found a religious order in the 18th century who dedicated themselves to devotion to the Passion as the way to understand and experience the deep love of God. According to stories about his zeal, his feast is the perfect one for today’s Gospel and Christ’s statement, “I have come to set the earth on fire!”
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