REFLECTION FOR TODAY,
October 22, 2020
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.” Luke 12:51-53
Yes, this is a shocking Scripture at first. Why would Jesus say that He came to establish not peace but division? This does not at all sound like something He would say. And then to go on saying that family members will be divided against each other is even more confusing. So, what is this about?
Jesus’ words may sometimes be difficult to accept. His gospel is not just a message of peace and joy but one of division and struggle as well. This is because He has come to separate darkness from light, and our fallen nature as human being resists such separation.
Jesus wants us to understand his peace will fill us as decide to follow him. Christian discipleship is costly. It can even lead to divisions in families. But even in the most difficult situation Jesus wants us to love and pray for our enemies. The choice is for us to make.
Our Bible reference of today reveals one of the unintended but permitted effects of the Gospel. Sometimes the Gospel brings about a certain disunity. Throughout history, for example, Christians have been severely persecuted for their faith. The example of many martyrs reveals that those who live the faith and preach it may become the target of another.
In our world today, there are Christians who are persecuted simply for being Christian. And in some cultures, Christians are severely mistreated for speaking out regarding certain moral truths of the faith. As a result, the proclamation of the Gospel can at times bring about a certain disunity.
But the real cause of any disunity is the refusal on the part of some to accept the truth. Do not be afraid of holding fast to the truths of our faith regardless of the reactions of others. If you are hated or mistreated as a result, do not let yourself give in to compromise for the sake of “peace at all costs.” That form of peace is not from God and will never bring about true unity in Christ.
Reflect, today, upon whether or not you struggle with compromising your faith when it is challenged by others. Know that God wants you to choose Him and His holy will above every other relationship in life.
Lord, give me grace to keep my eyes on You and Your will and to choose You above everything else in life. When my faith is challenged give me courage and strength to stay strong in Your love. Jesus, I trust in You.