Saturday, August 17, 2013

Twentieth Sunday, Ordinary Time: "Do you think I have come to spread peace upon the earth?"

“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 ..“ (Lk 12:49-53)

When families experience disagreements about religious faith they sometimes make the tragic error of rejecting it completely by, for example, agreeing not to speak of it between themselves or falling away from Sunday Mass, seeking a false kind of peace which cannot save because it is not based upon the truth, upon Christ.

"a father will be divided against his son
and a son against his father,
a mother against her daughter
and a daughter against her mother,
a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

One of the most difficult things that I do as a priest is to announce at funerals, weddings or other events which include Mass that, because of sin or division, some present may not be properly prepared to receive the Eucharist. I see at times like that the real divisions within families over Faith but also that the greatest tragedy of all would be to reject Christ in reaction against this phenomenon within families. I am thankful for every person who is present and pray they may encounter Him in His Church.

Christ makes clear in the Gospel that His Presence may sometimes be experienced by us as a kind of division, an uncomfortable distance between us and those we love, for He forces a decision upon us: we must choose either He Who is the Truth or a lie. He says there is no middle way.

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