Saturday, August 17, 2013
20TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – C
AUGUST 18, 2013
20TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – C
Jer 38:4-6,8-10 / Ps 40: 2. 3. 4. 18 / Heb 12:1-4 / Lk 12:49-53
Then the officials told the king, "This man should be put to death, because he is weakening the will of the fighting men and the people left the city. In fact he is not out to save the people but to do harm." King Zedekiah said, "His life is in your hands for the king has no power against you." So they took Jeremiah and threw him into the cistern of Malchiah the king's son, in the Guards' Court. They lowered him by means of ropes. There was no water in the cistern but only mud and Jeremiah sank into the mud. Ebedmelech went and spoke to him, "My lord king! These men have acted wickedly in all they did to Jeremiah the prophet. They threw him into the cistern where he will die." So the king ordered Ebedmelech the Ethiopian: "Take three men with you from here and draw Jeremiah the prophet out from the cistern before he dies."
What a cloud of innumerable witnesses surround us! So let us be rid of every encumbrance, and especially of sin, to persevere in running the race marked out before us. Let us look to Jesus the founder of our faith, who will bring it to completion. For the sake of the joy reserved for him, he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and then sat at the right of the throne of God. Think of Jesus who suffered so many contradictions from evil people, and you will not be discouraged or grow weary. Have you already shed your blood in the struggle against sin?
I have come to bring fire upon the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and what anguish I feel until it is over! Do you think that I have come to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on, in one house five will be divided: three against two, and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father; mother against daughter and daughter against mother; mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law, and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law."
Since the early days of Christianity that started a new era in history, the dividing force of Christianity has not ceased to be active in the world of people. The gospel is not without images that are apparently contradictory. No doubt Jesus was gentle and humble of heart, but his gentleness was one of a passionate heart. Here comes the violence of the peacemakers. Jesus kept fighting even when he was entering death and his resurrection became then, and remains now a fire of Pentecost. When Jesus lights the fire of the Spirit, he sets in motion a conversion. This often leads to discord and divisions. Whoever radically opts for Jesus, for his message and his way of life, will sooner or later experience how divided people are about him or her.
In this world, there is apparently the unavoidable effect of a consistent commitment in life. It is enough that one among us takes seriously this Jesus to set us up against one another in our families, in our communities, in our places of work. We are reminded of this division every day in our families. There is division when we speak of prayer, or when we want the time to pray. On attending Mass on Sundays, husbands are divided against their wives, children against their parents. People are divided about religious practices, about marrying in the Church. Perhaps we no longer fuss about these things in the family. We are resigned to the facts, for the sake of keeping the peace. Parents often say about their grown-up children: "Let them decide for themselves."
But that kind of peace that accepts anything, the type that lets anything happen, is not the kind of peace that Jesus came to bring. We should not take lightly this inner division but instead, we should dare to face it. We should not try to obtain an easy inner peace but have the courage to face the struggle in our own heart. Jesus summons people to be on fire. Because of what Jesus asks of us, we cannot avoid all conflicts, for if we do, we would no longer know what sin is, the devil and hell. Neither would we know what is grace and holiness. The peace of Jesus may remain a promise for the end time, and may never be totally achieved here on earth. But the fulfillment of this promise begins when we resolutely decide for Christ, and when we accept the struggle and the division, which will come from this choice.
Let us, with perseverance, keep running in the race which lies ahead of us. The closer we come to Jesus, the more we are filled with his fire. We have to let our faith radiate light to overcome the dark. If we live more by the Good News of Jesus, we will carry a fire within us that no power on earth can extinguish. Those who share in the light of Christ, also share in the immortality of that light. In this faith and in this light, we Christians must always want to live.
We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
… for the speedy recovery and healing of
- Ditas dela Paz, Toots Monfort, Virginia Hernandez, and Fleur Torres
- Judy Fernandez and Harry Shearer
… for the personal intentions of
- Gerard Olona
- Juliet Fallaria
- Ma. Angeli Marmeto
- Teresa Antoinette Bagaipo and Sol Bagaipo
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
… for families who are in need of healing
… for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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