Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened. - WINSTON CHURCHILL: (1874 –1965: British statesman)
Gospel Text: (LK 12:49-53)
Jesus said to his disciples:
“I have come to set the earth on fire,
and how I wish it were already blazing!
There is a baptism with which I must be baptized,
and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!
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;
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.”
Jesus in today’s gospel is talking about a commitment so intense that He aches for it to be fulfilled with every fiber of His being. What commitment? Jesus came to be our Savior. His commitment is to fulfill that promise to redeem us which God made in ages past. Jesus is here to reveal that God is true to His promises, God fulfills His promises. As the journey toward Jerusalem continues from this point forward in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus sees Himself moving headlong into a fray that will result in His violent and unjust sufferings and death. All who follow Him and announce the Good News of salvation by their words and lives will follow in His footsteps. That intense commitment will inevitably cause others to question, reject, move away from, and even become hostile toward one who is faithful to the commitment. Jesus will experience it. He warns the early disciples they will experience it – and they did. He warns us we will experience it in our own lives – and we sometimes do. If we “enslave” ourselves through baptism to the Good News of salvation and announce it with joy, we very well may experience division and enmity on the part of others but the Word will be out there. It is an “enslavement” of love and of joy to God and God’s kingdom. No crashing here – only a union and labor of love that can never be broken or set aside no matter what storms arise.