Gospel: Lk 12:49-53
I have come to bring fire upon the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and what anguish I feel until it is finished! Do you think that I have come to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on, in one house five will be divided: three against two, and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father; mother against daughter and daughter against mother; mother-in-law against her daughter-inlaw, and daughter in-law against her mother-in-law.
The break-up of families, father against mother, parents against children, in-laws against in-laws comes as the result of making a big decision to follow Jesus. He had warned that those who wanted to follow him had to be ready, if necessary, to leave home and family and enter into a new family of brothers and sisters. To follow the way of truth and love, of freedom and justice is always going to arouse the hostility of those who feel threatened by freedom in love. But is it right to break up one‘s family? The answer is definitely no but when there is a greater value that is at stake, we pursue not a dream for the family but God‘s dream for humanity. It is only by being true to God‘s greater plan with a price to pay, that peace can be experienced. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela gave humanity the best of himself when he followed his dream of racial equality, left the trappings of a good life and became a prisoner of conscience in his fight against apartheid. A harsh choice. He confessed the pain: “I did not in the beginning choose to place my people above my family, but in attempting to serve my people, I found that I was prevented from fulfilling my obligations as a son, a brother, a father, and a husband. In that way, my commitment to my people, to the millions of South Africans I would never know or meet, was at the expense of the people I knew best and loved most. It was as simple and yet as incomprehensible as the moment a small child asks her father, “Why can you not be with us?“ And the father must utter the terrible words: “There are other children like you, a great many of them…“ and then one‘s voice trails off.”
© Copyright Bible Diary 2018