August 14, 2022: Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Luke 12:49-53
Jesus said to his disciples: “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 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.”
In today’s Gospel reading, we hear what seems like impatience in Jesus’ voice and in his actions. Impatience is not a trait I think of with Jesus. But it is clear that Jesus is eager for his people – and – us to remind to understand what the world needs.
I certainly feel a similar impatience as I watch the evening news. Why don’t people change? Why can’t the laws be improved? Why is it so hard for people to have their needs met? For me, Jesus is teaching that the peace we so desire is not an easy peace. It will only come as each of us does our part to bring peace to our little part of the world, and to pray and to do what we can in the bigger world.
The news as we see and hear it on our televisions or our news feeds can bring us to a state of worry and impatience. But good, impartial news can help us know how to pray and make informed choices in how to live. This week, it would be good to pay attention to what we choose to hear. Does it contain the truth? Does it help us live with integrity? Do we sense the Spirit speaking to us as we listen?