Scripture: St. Luke 12:49-59
We all love a gentle Jesus. Recall these images of our Lord:
· A soft, glowing headshot
· A man holding a lamb on His shoulders
· Jesus sitting among the little children, holding one on His lap
· A tiny baby cuddling in His mother’s arms
Yet there are also the images of Jesus being crucified and suffering and dying on a cross. We don’t often envision Him as an angry, irate, and temperamental one, but there is the image of Him chasing the money chargers from the temple with a raised whip in His hands. He used a raise voice to call the Pharisees and Sadducees a “brood of vipers.”
And we gloss over these words of our Savior: “Do you think I have come to bring peace to the world. No, I tell you, but rather division.
We don’t care for a Jesus who stirs up divisions and irritates us, yet He speaks truth to the power of this world, both political and religious, and to all others. For there will be a final judgment for all our human actions.
Life can be a terrible experience through one must pass, a life full of decisions until we pass through and emerge triumphantly from them, until we climb the golden stairs to the heavenly kingdom.
Jesus had the cross ever before His eyes and mind.
Oh yes, there will be divisions between mankind, even members of our family and members of the world’s family.
The story of the vineyard in Isaiah 5 comes to mind. Even when the vinekeeper does everything right, the outcome might not be a harvest one hopes for.
A man built a vineyard on a fertile hillside and removed the stones from it, dug in the soil, and planted choice vines. He hoped for a harvest and built a fence around it and a winepress for the fruits. In the fullest of times, he went to see the fruits of his labors. The grapes were unfit for wine.
We are God’s chosen ones today, and we have a choice: whether to accept Him and engage in a spiritual rebirth and “Awakening” to encounter a new life with Him.
But created with free will, our lifestyle may be like that vineyard’s, producing unfit grapes or unfit actions by our behavior for the Lord. We yield to the lower side of humanity and its lifestyle.
Satan slips in and drives a wedge between us and our Lord, rendering us unfit to produce blessings for our Lord.
May we see that divisions between us are not always bad, for it may be division that awakes a spiritual awakening and revival in our lives. The Lord can open the doors of our lives open to deeper love in Him.
It’s like the person who said cancer was the best thing that ever happened to him. Not the illness, but the awakening to what is important in his life: his loved ones and realization of love and need for his Lord.
May we take the divisions that happen in our life not to separate us from one another or the Lord, but as a spiritually awakening growth that happens in our lives, awaking us to the fullness of this life and the life that awaits us in the heavenly kingdom.
Let us pray!