20th Sunday in Ordinary time
August 14, 2022
St. Augustine’s Catholic Church
I have come not to establish peace, but division.
Jesus said to his disciples: “I have come to set the earth on fire and how I wish it were already blazing! …Again, “do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.” These two statements can be misunderstood if we don’t think deeply about what was on the mind of Christ in saying them to his disciples. The fire he was thinking about is not the naked, physical fire that burns and destroys things. It is rather the suffering death He would undergo to destroy sin and evil in the world. It is very much in His mind to fulfil the promise to usher in love, peace, and abundant blessing that would bring the reign of God to flourish in the world.
The second point he talked about was division., but not in the ordinary sense of division in the family unit, three again two or two against three, son against father, or mother against daughter, and so on. Rather that His teaching would bring about division between those who would believe in Him and followed His ways from those who would prefer the ways of the world. He likened it to the man, the gospel said that had a farm with wheat, good seed, and cockle, the bad seed all growing on the same farm. At the harvest time, the wheat would be collected into the farmer’s barn, while the cockle would be burned in the fire. This what the division is all about. It would come at the end of time because of the teaching of Christ. The question before us is, “What division do you wish to belong to?” The choice is ours.