"I have come to set the world on fire" 20th Sunday of Ordinary - TopicsExpress


"I have come to set the world on fire" 20th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2013 Based on Readings from Jeremiah 38, Psalm 40, Hebrews 12, Luke 12 By Rev. Bob Johnnene OFD Mission Saints Sergius & Bacchus/ Franciscans Divine Mercy Independent Catholic Church of the Americas Link to All Reflections TV Shows; youtube/user/RevBobJohn youtube/watch?v=xsFMz_n27s0 Link to St. Joseph Cupertino Parish: stjosephcupertino/index.html Link to Mission Web Site: missionstsergius.org Link to Franciscans of Divine Mercy Facebook Page: https://facebook/FranciscansDivineMercy?fref=ts Link to Franciscans of Divine Mercy Web Site: franciscansdivinemercy.org Link to the Independent Catholic Church of the Americas iccamericas.org/ The Gospel for this Sunday begins with these words; Jesus said to his disciples: “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!” What exactly, I wonder did Christ mean by “He had come to set the world on fire?” What is meant that Christ came to inflame us with the truth of God’s will and that he wished that those who were living at that time, and had been told of God’s will by the prophets, had listened and practiced God’s will. Even after Christ came, people refused to listen and often scorned Christ. Granted, thankfully, some who heard Christ listened and believed and they became his disciples and the persons who founded the One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church we profess to believe in every time we pray the Creed. The Gospel goes on to say; “There is a baptism with which I must be baptized and how great my anguish is 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.” Those are heady words and very difficult to comprehend, but if we examine them well we can begin to understand exactly what Christ was saying. What Jesus is telling us is that he did not come here to win a popularity contest, but came to upset the apple cart and overthrow the common beliefs and concepts of his time. The Baptism that Christ speaks of is not that of water and the Holy Spirit, which he had already received but the Baptism of immersion into the pain and suffering of his passion and death so that he could overcome sin and win all who believed the forgiveness of sin and everlasting life at the end of their earthly time. Christ knew that what he preached would be very unpopular among some, he knew even some of his own family would reject him. Christ in essence was foretelling what many would experience who tried to follow the teachings and truth he proclaimed. The second reading for this Sunday compares life with running a race and tells us that we need to persevere in our attempts to live in accord with Christ’s teachings in spite of the rejection by some of our family and friends or the unpopularity of it. The first reading from the book of Jeremiah relates how people sought to have Jeremiah killed because they did not like being told that what they were doing was wrong. Not much changes even today. Children don’t like to be told what to do, employees of think they know better and fail to follow company rules. Even clergy, have rebelled, and rejected things because they were difficult. Throughout history people have rejected one thing or another because it did not fit their personal agenda. Being a true Christian, a follower of the teachings of Jesus Christ is not easy and Christ knew that. As the song by Lynn Anderson proclaims; “I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden. Along with the sunshine, there’s got to be a little rain sometimes. When you take, you got to give, so live and let live, I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden.” Christ never told us that living in accord with his teachings would be easy, but he did tell us how to live, and the prime way was to LOVE. Love God, Love your neighbor, Love one another as Christ loved us. To follow Christ, one has to make difficult decisions; one has to be willing to seek not fame, fortune, popularity, and power, but needs to have compassion, forgiveness, mercy, generosity, and humility. One needs to care for the sick, homeless, oppressed, unemployed, aged and poor. To live our lives as true followers of Christ, we need to spurn the popular notions of society for those that are often the most unpopular. From shortly after the apostles established the first churches, later generations have decided to make changes in order to suite some sort of gain in power, wealth of to reject something they found difficult. That trend continues to this day. Everyone wants to be the boss and far too many demand that things be their way or no way. That is not a Christian way. Christ established on Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church through his teachings and the apostles with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Christ came to set the world on fire with the Love of God and the knowledge of God’s infinite mercy and love for us. We need to become open to receiving that fire and letting it consume us so that we then go forth setting others on fire with the love of God. We can accomplish that be opening ourselves to living lives that are compassionate, forgiving, merciful, charitable and focused on being a reflection of God and Jesus Christ as the title of this show proclaims. May God’s love set you afire with the gifts of the Holy Spirit and may you go forth enkindling that fire in others. AMEN
Posted on: Fri, 16 Aug 2013 08:34:32 +0000

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