The WORD in Other Words by Fr John O’Mahony SVD (Philippines) Thursday Week 29 Ordinary Time, Lk 12:49-53
In today‘s Gospel, Jesus speaks about division and strife, even perhaps giving the impression that division and strife is what he wants. But can that really be the case?
Isaiah says He will be the “Prince of Peace.” He gives the gift of peace to his apostles at the Last Supper and greets His disciples, “Peace be with you.” after the resurrection. He invites the burdened and oppressed to come to him who will give them rest. He performs healing miracles and has “compassion for the crowds” (cf. Mt 5, 9; Mk 9, 50; LK 1, 79; 10, 5; 19, 38; 24, 36; Jn 14, 27; 16, 33; 20, 21.26, etc).
Clearly Jesus is a man of peace, proclaiming peace and liberty for all. But what kind of peace?
Jesus‘ message is not about making us feel good about ourselves; there is a passion in it that challenges us to commit ourselves to him. It is a call to reconsider our attitudes to wealth, honor and power.
In situations like abortion, euthanasia, sexuality, family, migration and asylum, our world today has values opposed to those of Jesus.
The so-called war on drugs and the environment confronts us about where we stand as followers of Jesus. To take a stand for life rather than death may bring us into conflict even with those who are dear to us. Many feel threatened by goodness. Whoever choose to follow that path can expect opposition.
However, it is by following the way of Jesus along the path of justice, love and integrity of heart that we will discover real peace, an inner joy that no one can steal Jesus does bring peace but we may have to endure much division and opposition in order to achieve it.