Our Ministries
12 Aug

Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“I have come to set the earth on fire.”

Images of fire and division are troubling. They seem to be ever-present in our world and in our communities. And those are the images we hear about in our readings this weekend. Jesus’ statement that he has come to bring fire upon the earth might best be understood as some type of purification or refinement that needs to take place. Most of us are likely to prefer the image of a gentle, tender, and caring Jesus to the one presented here. The reality, however, is that to be a follower of Jesus means that we must make many difficult choices, choices that will not always be popular with friends and family.

When people do God’s will, other people sometimes react angrily or even violently. Jeremiah was thrown into a well. Jesus was crucified. Joan of Arc was burned to death. Oscar Romero was shot dead at Mass. Countless missionaries have been killed when they witness the Gospel and confront oppressive, dictatorial authority.

Some of Jesus’ followers suffered scorn and rejection by family members. Are there ways in which family members and/or friends make it hard for you to follow Christ? What must you do to bravely but lovingly hold fast to your faith even when it causes tension and division between you and someone you love?

Courage and perseverance come from life shared in celebrating the Eucharist in community each weekend and in being Christ for each other. Listen here: