Luke 12: 49-59 – Fire on Earth

How difficult it must have been for Jesus to break into the lives of the people of his time with his strange message of God. Caught up in the loving obedience which dominated his life, he preached a message which was disturbing. It was so disturbing that it took him to the cross. A message of the closeness of a loving God to all people, and the demands which such love creates, necessarily leads to opposition. Indeed, our attempts to domesticate such a message show that humankind, even those parts known as Christian, is still unable to totally accept his message.

Too often the call of Christian love is judged as an unrealistic option to resolve the problems of our complicated world. However, from its very first days the challenge of the Christian vocation has been vigorous, winning acceptance only from those courageous enough to challenge the established way of life and religion.

Jesus was aware of this. Thus he spoke of the fire which he was bringing to this earth, setting alight the hearts – but also the lives – of the people whom the fire touched. The fire which his life and preaching brought would spread. but as it spread, it brought division into the lives of people who accepted him and the promises of God’s reign. Jesus announces that the divisions would happen at the deepest level of social relationships: the family. How do we cope with the fact that the person of Jesus can still divide families, even those called Christian? Or are we happy to hide our belief in the saving love of Jesus from the world in which we live, and only parade it when it is convenient?

(Adapted from This is the Gospel of the Lord – Year C, by Francis J. Moloney, p 154-55).

Blessings, Reverend Lyndon