“I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! “But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished! “Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. “For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. “Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”
We are faced with the struggles and challenges of Christianity in our every day lives. In this Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples that he is here to divide and that he has struggles ahead of him that provide him anguish. He’s sharing with them that following God was not going to be easy. Being a disciple of Jesus was not a ‘walk in the park’. He shares that even in families there will be division and argument. We are faced with this today on a bigger scale. The challenges between different faith based communities are shared within Christianity. Understanding scripture is also sometimes a point of disagreement. We see this challenge even within the Catholic parishes.
What Jesus has taught us in this Gospel is that just because we expect something to be one way, doesn’t mean we will all agree on it. As a church and an as followers of Christ, we must be ready for division and learn to work through the things that cause the division to find common ground and unite in Christ. How do you handle faith based diversity or challenge? Are you quick to disregard the beliefs of someone else in favor of your own? Do you take the time to understand the other believer so that you can understand why he believes the way he does? Evangelizing and being an apostle of Jesus will always be unpopular in a society as it was in the day of Luke. Today, Christianity is world wide. If the early disciples gave up when they were faced with hardship or diversity, Christianity wouldn’t exist today. Pray that together we may help others to understand the Word. Often, the divide is simply a lack of understanding. Enlighten others! Share your time, talent and treasure. Treasure doesn’t have to be monetary. Perhaps it is as simple as explaining the Gospel in layman’s terms! Are you up to that challenge? Remember that something worth having is worth working hard and fighting for!