Ephesians 3:14-21; Psalm 33; Luke 12:49-53
Jesus says in today’s gospel reading that he has come to cast fire upon the earth and would that it was already kindled. Again, he said he has not come to bring peace but division. By popular consensus, this is unlike Jesus. From the Scripture Jesus is a man of peace; Isa.9:6 He is the Prince of Peace, Eph. 6:15 His gospel is “the gospel of peace”. Why fire and division? When he spoke of fire and division he was not speaking prescriptively but descriptively. That is, Jesus was not prescribing or decreeing that there should be divisions and war on earth. Rather He was describing what will happen in this world if we follow him.
Christ’s fire refers to Spiritual Enthusiasm. This is the kind of fire the Lord has come to kindle. Spiritual Enthusiasm counterbalances apathy and boredom. On the other hand, Christ’s division sets us apart. Anyone who embraces Christ in Baptism is set apart, 1Peter 2:9 says we are a peculiar people, a people set apart. We are set apart not to fall apart but to make impart. Lastly, Christ says; he has not come to bring peace but war. Beloved in Christ, the way to true peace is not always peaceful. True peace is more than freedom from disturbances; experience of tranquility or the absence of hostility. True peace is a life that is built on goodness and justice. Peace without justice is what M.K.O Abiola calls the “peace of the graveyard” the graveyard is peaceful because all the inhabitants are dead. But we are not dead so if we must have peace we must oppose injustice and evil. We must rise up to oppose the evil of this nation. Most importantly, as Christians, our lives, behaviours and deeds must give expression to this agenda.
Let us pray
In the words of St. Paul in the first reading may our faith grow strong through the power of the Holy Spirit. Through the same Holy Spirit may we find the strength to impart knowledge and kindle enthusiasm. AmenMay the souls of our departed youths who died fighting for justice and right rest in peace. Amen. St. John Paul II, pray for us.