HIS WORDâ€¦ I HAVE COME TO SET THE EARTH ON FIRE, AND HOW I WISH IT WERE ALREADY BLAZING! THERE IS A BAPTISM WITH WHICH I MUST BE BAPTIZED, AND HOW GREAT IS MY ANGUISH UNTIL IT IS ACCOMPLISHED! DO YOU THINK THAT I HAVE COME TO ESTABLISH PEACE ON THE EARTH? NO, I TELL YOU, BUT RATHER DIVISIONâ€¦
my wordsâ€¦Blazing Fire on the earthâ€¦ Baptism of suffering and painâ€¦ Are they destructive? First, if we are familiar with the Prayer to the Holy Spirit, it says: â€œCome, Oh Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, enkindle in them the â€œFIREâ€ of your Love; send forth your Holy Spirit, and they shall be created and you shall renew the face of the earth.â€ And Jesus wishes that this â€œfireâ€ is already blazing on the earth. Thus, not destructive because it is the FIRE of Godâ€™s great LOVE that should be blazing now all over the earth. Second, in the gospels Jesus received His baptism at the Jordan as the inaugural baptism of His public life and ministry. But He knew very well that there will be another baptism which is a painful one; and this is His Baptism of Martyrdom of which He is to undergo suffering and eventually die for the people. Destructive for Himself but redemptive for the people!
Brothers and Sisters, these are the reasons why Jesus died for us: LOVE and LIFE. And as baptized Christians, we are asked to replicate them in our lives. To decide for Christ oftentimes causes divisions especially in domestic and family life. Why is this so? It is because the message of Jesus is most uncompromising; it is like a devouring fire, eating up and transforming everyone along the way. That is why conflicts are bound to happen even in family relationships as described by Jesus in the gospel of today. Jesus even cited a culturally true conflict in family households even up to the present: the naturally bound conflicts between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law! Oh how cultural, historical, and much more Biblical is this type of family conflict! Why is this so? What could be the possible reasons for this imminent occurrence in domestic life among women? First, during those times and in the prevalent Jewish culture, men were often out in the field to work and the women were basically â€œtaong-bahayâ€, they were just in the house doing the home chores; thus, the tendency for them to be easy prey for conflicts or quarrels; Second, during those times and even in our times, daughters-in-law can easily become the competitors of the mothersâ€™ inherent love and affections to their beloved and cherished sons; thus, envy, jealousy, and mistrust can naturally and emotionally ensue; And third, the innate existence of the feminist warring behaviors and attitudes among women. How can we heal or cure this prevalent disparity between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law? Answer: Look at Jesus, the uniting element of every Christian relationship especially in the homes.
Yes, Jesus maybe causing divisions in the homes, but this division is division in principles that we stand for in following Him. It is not a division of destruction but a division of strength and firm decision in following Jesus. For nobody can stop us in loving and in following Him; â€œneither death nor life, neither angels nor spiritual powers, neither the present nor the future, nor cosmic powers, were they from heaven or from the deep world below, nor any creature whatsoever will stop us from following the love of God which we have in Jesus Christ, our Lordâ€ (Rom 8:38-39). To be divided in the Lord Jesus is to strengthen our faith, our decisions, and our Christian principles in life. Let us be courageous in carrying out the will of the Father in Jesus Christ for He is our Lord and Master of the destiny of our life.
LET THE FIRE OF JESUS BE BURNING AND BLAZING IN US NOW… (By Fr. Julius C. Lupot)