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.”
We read in the Gospel for this Sunday, “I have come to set the earth on fire…”? He came to preach the Truth; in fact, Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. When we preach the Truth, the response can be very different.
In the first reading this Sunday (Jeremiah 38:4-6, 8-10), the prophet Jeremiah preached the truth and they put him in jail. Not only did they put him in jail, but they threw him in a well (cistern) and left him for dead. There was no water and he was sinking in the mud. God sent a court official, Ebed-melech, who pleaded for his life and they rescued Jeremiah from the well. God never abandons us, especially when we are His faithful followers.
Jesus preached the Truth also. His desire was that the fire of God’s love would overtake the earth and we would all become one. However, we know what happened to Jesus. They crucified Him. And yet God did not abandon Him either. Jesus rose from the dead and conquered death itself.
We hear in the second reading today (Hebrews 12:1-4), “let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus.” Do I keep my eyes fixed on Jesus, especially when times are difficult? Do I try to rid myself of sin? “In order that you may not grow weary and lose heart,” Jesus gave Himself for us on the cross. He never abandons us and has given us the greatest gift ever – Himself!
Sometimes we are afraid to share the truth of Jesus Christ. But the Lord invites us to trust in Him. Even if people turn their backs on us or we are persecuted for our faith, Jesus will never abandon us. We must keep our eyes focused on Him and never tire of doing the right thing.
Has my heart caught the fire of Jesus Christ?
Am I willing to share my faith with others or am I afraid?
Do I keep my eyes focused on Christ, especially during the tough times?
Have a blessed Sunday!