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08/14/16 Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Tie - Deacon Harry

Opting for Jesus and accepting the message of the gospel can create divisions among people. The division comes when people are faced with the decision to choose or not to choose Jesus Christ. As Jesus notes in today’s gospel, his disciples (those who choose him) will face opposition and rejection, even within their own families because of their faith and values. When experiencing difficulties in our trying to live as Christians, we should remember that Jesus himself faced rejection, persecution, and hostility. And he conquered them all. As we heard in today’s gospel, Jesus was aware that proclaiming the Kingdom of God was going to put his own life in danger, and that it was going to bring the hatred of those who didn’t accept his message. He died, but he was raised to new life so that all those who believe in him could have life, a life that never ends.


Today’s gospel encourages us to persevere in our Christian life and values, all the more so in the midst of rejection and misunderstanding, and even persecution, always with a spirit of mercy and compassion. As Pope Francis said to the young people gathered in Krakow for this year’s World Youth Day:


We do not want to tear down, we do not want to give insult.  We have no desire to conquer hatred with more hatred, violence with more violence, terror with more terror.  We are here today because the Lord has called us together.  Our response to a world at war has a name: its name is fraternity, its name is brotherhood, its name is communion, its name is family.”


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