• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Friday, 16 August 2019 19:54

20th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C - 2019

Written by Fr Elmer Ibarra SVD


20th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Luke 12, 49-53

Fr Elmer Ibarra 150 BestAt first reading of this Sunday’s Gospel, we might be seriously wondering what Jesus is talking about. We all thought that Jesus came to this world as a “Prince of Peace”. We thought that Jesus came to this world “to gather the lost sheep of the house of Israel”. So, now what is this talk of division? Why did Jesus talked about “a household of five would be divided, three against two and two against three, father against son, son against father and so on…?”

One of the greatest saints that we have was St Thomas More, a chancellor of England and a councillor to King Henry VIII. However, when King Henry VIII severed his relationship with the Pope because of his refusal to annul his marriage with Catherine of Aragon so that he could marry Anne Boleyn and declared himself as Supreme Head of the Church of England, Thomas More refused to take an oath recognising Henry VIII as the Supreme Head of the Church of England and recognising instead the Pope as the temporal head of Catholic Church, he was thrown into prison. In a last attempt by the friends of Thomas, they asked his daughter, Margaret who was a well-educated woman to convince his father to take the oath. However, Thomas would not compromise his conscience and eventually he was found guilty of treason and was executed. In this story, we can see how the family of Thomas More was divided, with his entire family siding with the king (most probably because of their fear for their lives) and Thomas More who would not compromise his beliefs and ended up dying for them.

Jesus once said in the book of the Apocalypse in his anger to the Christian community of Laodicea, “Because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will therefore spit you out of my mouth.” Jesus is asking us in plain language if we are with him or against him, because being fence sitters is the greater sin. The Christians in Laodicea were not committed, they don’t want to be compromised. They prefer to keep their distance. They do the minimum requirement of the church, they go to Mass and Confession only once a year. They don’t harm their neighbours but they don’t help them either.

When St Luke wrote this part of the gospel, he lived in a community that was split because of Christianity. New converts to Christianity were suffering from persecution because of their belief in Jesus Christ and sadly the persecutors were not from the Roman Empire but from their very own families who were convinced that they had made a bad decision. And aren’t these things also happening to our families of today?

I was driving my car one day in the streets of Sydney and I saw a bumper sticker which said, “If you are arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to be convicted?” Sadly, we live in a world where there are so many nominal Christians. People who still tick “Christian” on the census form but have no commitment to being Christians. Many say they believe in Jesus, but can’t be bothered worshiping him in Church together with everybody else. Christians who don’t do anything evil but don’t do anything good either.

May this week’s gospel give us the conviction to be totally committed to Jesus. If we follow Jesus, there is certainly a price to pay. It may result with our families being split apart, but still our loyalty to Christ should be higher than anything else. As one philosopher said, “It is better for a Buddhist who does not pray because he believes that there is no god, than a Christian who is not sure if there is a god but prays just in case.” We believe that there is a God that’s why we pray. And we must also be committed to our God by placing him above anything else even at the expense of our own family and loved ones.