Theme: JESUS: A CAUSE OF DIVISION
- Jeremiah 38:4-6. 8-10;
- Psalm 39:2-4. 18. R. v. 14;
- Hebrews 12:1-4
- Luke 12:49-53
1. Today is the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C. The readings today tell us that the Lord causes divisions, divisions between those who are for him and those who are againsthim, but more importantly, the readings today tell us to be for God, and not to be against God, and most importantly, the readings today tell us to trust in God, and God will save us – and though this is not mentioned in today’s readings – and through us save the wholeworld! After all, Jesus Christ did not suffer, die, rise from the dead and went to heaven allby himself, but he gave the world the Holy Spirit and brought the whole world with him to heaven!
2. The gospel today tells us that Jesus is a cause of division, that is, a division between those who accept Jesus and those who reject Jesus, a division between those who are for God and those who are against God! But more importantly, the gospel tells us to be for God and to put our faith in God and God will hear us and save us! Thus the gospel tells us: “For from now on a household of five will be divided: three against two and two against three; the father divided against the son, son against father, mother against daughter, daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law, daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”! (Lk 12:52-53) Jesus was quoting from the prophet Micah, chapter 7:6, but more importantly, the following verse, that is, the prophet Micah, chapter 7:7 tells us to put our faith in God and God will hear us and save us! The prophet Micah mentioned the word God 3 times in one short verse! Thus we read: “But as for me, I will look to the Lord, I will put my trust in God my savior; my God will hear me!”
3. The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading tells us that Jeremiah was a cause of division, a division between those who were for God and those who were against God! But more importantly, the first reading tells us to be for God, and not to be against God, and most importantly, the first reading tells us that those who were for God and put their trust in God were saved! Thus Jeremiah was saved from the well of death! But thosewho were against God – including King Zedekiah of Judah – were put to death! They were put to death by the Babylonians and exiled into Babylon in the 6th century BC! (Jr 39)
4. The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the first reading. The responsorial psalm tells us that those who put their trust in God were saved! (HCSB) The responsorial psalm has 4 stanzas. The first 3 stanzas are a thanksgiving for deliverance, and the last stanza and the response are a prayer to God for help. The usual order is reversed, that is, the thanksgiving is before the prayer. (NJBC)
Thus the first 3 stanzas of the responsorial psalm: “I waited, I waited for the Lord and he stooped down to me; he heard my cry. He drew me from the deadly pit, from the miry clay. He set my feet upon a rock and made my footsteps firm. He put a new song into my mouth, praise of our God. Many shall see and fear and shall trust in the Lord.”! (Ps 39: 2-4)
5. Finally, and most importantly, the second reading tells us to forget about the prophet Jeremiah, and all the prophets of the Old Testament, and all the men and women of faith of the Old Testament (“witnesses”), and to look to Jesus Christ in the New Testament! (IBC/CSB) In the face of sinners, Jesus Christ put his faith in God his Father through suffering and death, and today he is exalted high above in heaven in glory! In our struggle with sin and sinners we must also put our faith in God our Father until death, and we too will be exalted high above in heaven in glory!6.
Today in the Eucharist, we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and we eat his body and drink his blood, and our Risen Lord will give us the Holy Spirit so that we may be for God and not against God, and so that in our struggle against sin and sinners we may put our faith in God until death, and so that we may be exalted high above in heaven in glory, and so that through us the whole world may also be exalted high above in heaven in glory! This is the Good News! Amen!