29th Week in Ord. Time, Thursday – 22nd October 2020 — Gospel: Lk 12,49-53
Respond favourably or against Kingdom
One of the results of Jesus’ mission is ‘division’ among people, penetrating even the most intimate level of relationships within families. Here, Jesus uses an illustration from Mic 7,6. The prevailing Jewish idea in Jesus’ time was that Messiah would defeat Israel’s enemies and inaugurate an age of peace. The angels declared at his birth “peace on earth” (Lk 2,14). Jesus promised, ‘peace’ to those who respond to the gospel he brings (Jn 14,27; 16,33). To those he forgives and heals, Jesus himself extends peace individually (Lk 7,50; 8,48) and he also sends out his disciples to proclaim this ‘peace to other houses’ (Lk 10,5-6). But Jesus here clarifies matters so that the disciples are not surprised by the growing opposition. This division comes not because Jesus is against all forms of unity, but because, everyone in the world stands on one of two sides of the gospel. Those who are not for Jesus are against him (Lk 11,23). Those who refuse God’s offer of peace remain his enemies (Rom 8,7). God’s peace is tied to the message of salvation and extended only to those who respond favourably to his offer of forgiveness in Christ. Jesus’ offer of salvation contains the choice between aligning with God’s kingdom or standing against it.