I Have Come To Set The Earth On Fire

To set a fireMost of us shun fighting. We want to live our lives in peace. We pray for peace in the world. But what is peace? Jesus makes clear in our Gospel today that it is not the absence of strife. In fact, Jesus suggests that being on fire to accomplish his mission may bring serious divisions. The issue is to be faithful to the saving mission for which Jesus was sent. Even in the midst of strife we can know peace.
Jesus’ very message is divisive because it calls people to a radical way of living- self-giving for te sake of others. We must make a decision to follow him or not, to share his Passion or not, to be self-giving as he is. This choice results in divisions because all of us do not make the same choice to follow Jesus.
Jesus came to preach the Good News of radical fidelity to God. Paradoxically, being faithful to Jesus is how we come to lasting peace. If we compromise our Gospel message in order to have peace now, we forfeit the everlasting peace which is promised us. The choice is ours.