Thursday, August 12, 2010

“Set the Earth on Fire”

So I wrote this for the 20th Sunday in ordinary time and then realized that next Sunday is the Assumption... Oops. Well, I thought you might enjoy anyway.

Jeremiah 38:4-6, 8-10 and Luke 12:49-53

"Do you think I have come to establish peace on this earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.”

How often is it we want to avoid confrontation with our loved ones? For the sake of peace we try not to say anything to offend them.

Yet, how often does something need to be said regarding the faith? Uncle Johnny falls away from the church. Neice Suzie is living with her boyfriend. Brother Joe doesn’t go to confession anymore. Yet we sit idly by saying it’s not our business and we don’t want to push them away.

But we should gently tell them the Truth. Jesus always told the Truth no matter how people felt about it, and He loved each and every one of his audience more than we could ever love our family. See how many people hye offended? See how much division He caused? “…a father will be divided against his son…” Yet, in the end, His Truth rang out loud and clear and the Church was established.

In the first reading, Jeremiah was speaking the truth, yet the princes wanted to kill him. They said “he is not interested in the welfare of our people, but in their ruin?” How often do we hear this in our world: “You are not interested in the welfare of the women and their right to choose; you want to ruin their lives by forcing them to have a baby!”

Or your uncle who has fallen away. When you try to talk to him he may claim, “You are not interested in my welfare, you are self-righteous and judgmental!” But we don’t have to convince him ourselves—God will do that through His grace. We just have to light a little spark so that God will “set [his heart] on fire.”

And, of course, we must lead by example.

Our world claims that Christians don’t know anything about the good of the people—we are just stiff goody-goodies who want to control others’ lives. But the “freedom” they seek is a slavery to sin, like one who is addicted to a drug that leads to destruction.

So we must speak out, especially to our fathers and mothers, uncles and cousins, children. Let us “set the earth on fire.” Through God’s grace, they will see the Truth; it begins with that tiny spark.

Oh, “how I wish [the earth] were already blazing!”

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