Friday, September 6, 2019 at 10:40 AM
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08/18/19 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Fr. Reggie

When Jesus talks about setting the earth on fire, he is referring to the fire of his love. You could even say that he is thinking about the Holy Spirit. When you read these words of Scripture and listen to them with the ear of your heart, you cannot help but be impressed with the passion of Christ’s love, the desire he has to possess our hearts and be united to each and every one of us. Notice that he does not have a narrow focus when it comes to sharing his gift of love. He came to give his life as a ransom for us men and for our salvation. He shed his blood for all so that sins would be forgiven.

Jesus knows that he is going to die for our sins on the altar of the cross. He knows he is going to shed his blood for us and be plunged into the depths of the dead in order to restore life to the righteous and to open the gates of heaven to all those who believe in him. He knows that his death and resurrection will bring salvation and eternal life to the whole world. He cannot wait to bring about this miraculous reconciliation between the human race and his heavenly Father. He yearns and is anxious to fulfill his mission as savior of souls and glorifier of the Father.

What Jesus is driving at here is that his message and mission are more important than any family tie. Sometimes our relationship with Jesus will be disquieting for our family members, especially if they are living in sin or being especially selfish or unjust in any way. Moreover, when children get married or answer their call to religious life, parents and in-laws can become envious of the new spouse or angry at the religious community. But Christ wishes us to answer his call, which he has prepared for us from all eternity. It’s good to keep in mind that when we opt for the path Our Lord has in mind for us, we’re choosing a good, not the division that may result for a time from that choice. We need to rely on Christ’s grace to maintain kindness, humility, and joy at all times with everyone. These are sure signs of being blessed by God.

 

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