Geeky Catholic Sunday: Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Gospel Reading: Luke 12:49-53

Highlight: "Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division."

Reflection: This gospel passage is a jarring contrast to the popular perception of Jesus and his mission. Especially when you look at non-Christian perceptions of Jesus. I can think of at least two different works of fiction written by atheists or agnostics that claimed the central message of Jesus was to "be nice to each other." I'm sorry, but they don't execute people for telling others to "be nice." So what is Jesus saying here? He's here to disrupt families? Is that because families are inherently a bad thing? We can't conclude that, because it would be contrary to the rest of revelation. So here's my take on it. Jesus calls us to enter into - and remain in - a covenant relationship with God. If our children, or parents, or siblings, or spouses choose to turn away from this invitation, then we have two choices. We either join our family members in rejecting Jesus, or we turn away from our family members to join - or remain with - Jesus. And Jesus's message in today's gospel is that we will have to choose the latter option in that scenario. Authentically following Christ means that we're not always going to get along with everyone. If our loved ones are choosing a life of sin, we cannot go along with that. And often, we will have to challenge them to turn away from their sins and towards Jesus.

Geeky Quote: "Families can be touch. Before my father died, he told me I had a half-sister that he imprisoned in hell. Then she returned home and stabbed me in the eye. So I had to kill her. I feel your pain." - Thor, Avengers: Infinity War

Prayer: Jesus, give me the courage to follow you, even when it seems like no one else will. Amen.

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