Gospel Reflection for the 20th Sunday Ordinary Time Year C – August 18th 2013
Full scripture for this Sunday is available on our parish website. Daily Scripture is also available. Our parish Prayers of the Faithful for this Sunday are made available on the Dublin Diocesan website.
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘I have come to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were blazing already! There is a baptism I must still receive, and how great is my distress till it is over! ‘
Do you suppose that I am here to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on a household of five will be divided: three against two and two against three; the father divided against the son, son against father, mother against daughter, daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law, daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.
Luke 12: 49-53
Fire is frightening; it can burn up a city. It is also warming in control in a grate; and it also warms the heart, when we sit back, watch the flames and chat, think or pray. Jesus came to bring fire on the earth.
Warmth of Love
The warmth of love and companionship; when we know we can go to him just as we are, and enjoy the intimacy of his friendship – the friend who is always offering the gift of his heart to each of us.
The warmth of Jesus that brings comfort and hope to the world; when we live in isolation with each other, lacking in friendship and hope. When we lack the reconciliation and justice that makes life possible among us, then the warmth of God’s love for all can inflame our coldness.
There is also the fire that disturbs; love challenges as well as comforts. The flame of God can be frightening in that it demands a world of justice, peace and reconciliation. The fire of this love is the fire that also warms and comforts.
The flame of God is the Holy Spirit. Jesus comes to bring all sort of fire to the world, and to send the Spirit of comfort, justice, reconciliation and hope. The message of Jesus may divide us, and if it does, the love of Jesus can unite us, for love is the most powerful gift of Jesus.
A saying has it – he has come to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.
Holy Spirit, flame of God, hover over each of us as you did for the followers of Jesus at the first Pentecost.
Donal Neary SJ