YEAR C: HOMILY FOR THE 19TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: DIVISION….”Do you think that I have come to bring peace on earth?”
BY: Fr. Isidre SALUDES i Rebull
HOMILY: Today, -from Jesus’ very lips- we can hear the frightening avowal: «I have come to bring fire upon the earth» (Lk 12:49); «Do you think that I have come to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you» (Lk 12:51). Being faithful to God entails division. For truth is opposed to lies and deception; the spirit of charity is the opposite of a selfish spirit; justice is the opposite of injustice…
In the world -and inside us- there is a mixture of good and bad; and we must take sides, must take an option, while being conscious that faithfulness is “uncomfortable”. It seems far easier to compromise, but it is certainly far less evangelical.
We would like to have “the Gospels” and “a Jesus” tailored to measure and going by our individual taste and passions. But we must convince ourselves that Christian life is not just a simple “routine”, a matter of “just keep going”, without a constant desire for improvement and perfection. Benedict XVI maintains that «Jesus Christ is not just a private conviction or an abstract idea, but a real person, whose becoming part of human history is capable of renewing the life of every man and woman».
The supreme model is Jesus (we must “stare at Him fixedly”, especially when in trouble or if persecuted). He voluntarily accepted the ordeal of the Cross in order to restore our freedom and recuperate our happiness: «In his crucified flesh, God’s freedom and our human freedom met definitively in an inviolable, eternally valid pact» (Benedict XVI). If we get our mind stay put on Jesus we shall never lose heart. His sacrifice represents the contrary to the spiritual lack of enthusiasm, which so often engulfs us.
Loyalty requires courage and ascetical fight. Sin and evil are constantly tempting us, and this is why a courageous fight and effort along with our participation in the Passion of Jesus Christ are a peremptory requirement. Hating sin is not easy. The kingdom of Heaven demands efforts, fight and violence upon us, and the violent take it by force (cf. Mt 11:12).
Fr. Isidre SALUDES i Rebull
(Alforja, Tarragona, Spain)