Posted August 18, 2013 by FLL Editorial Team in
 
 

Jesus: A Cause of Division

那時候,耶穌對門徒說:「我來,是為把火投在地上,我是多麼切望:它已經燃燒起來!我有一種應受的洗禮,我是如何焦急,直到它的完成!
「你們以為我來,是給地上送和平嗎?不,我告訴你們:而是來送分裂。因為從今以後,一家五口的,將要分裂:三個反對兩個,兩個反對三個。他們將要分裂:父親反對兒子,兒子反對父親;母親反對女兒,女兒反對母親;婆母反對兒媳,兒媳反對婆母。」
路加福音 12:49-53

The Holy Spirit

在這幾節福音中,耶穌說祂不是來給地上送和平,而是來送分裂,實在令人費解。聽起來,令人覺得不安。耶穌不是來給世界帶來愛嗎?為甚麼說帶來分裂呢?耶穌來到世上去承行天父的旨意,當中包括:願眾人合而為一。耶穌說:「我來是為把火投在地上,我是多麼切望它已經燃燒起來。」祂把聖神遣發到世上來,聖化世界。祂多麼渴望人能參與這聖化的工程。但耶穌在傳教時,祂知道祂的救世工程,有人接納,有人拒絕;各人對耶穌的態度,可以導致家庭不和甚至分裂,但為了放天主在我們生命中的首位,分裂是我們必須要接納的。

正如耶穌的母親瑪利亞帶嬰孩耶穌上耶路撒冷獻給上主,西默盎對瑪利亞說:「看,這孩子已被立定,為使以色列中許多人跌倒和復起,並成為反對的記號。」

耶穌深知自己將被帶走,祂說:「我有一種應受的洗禮,我是如何焦急,直到它得以完成!」這洗禮便是十字架上的苦難與死後復活。祂多麼迫切希望人能醒悟和悔改,尋求天主的國。

跟隨耶穌、為主作證是一個長途競賽。中間會面對不同的挑戰和反對。最大的反對者,可能就是自己。耶穌說:「我是道路、真理、生命,除非經過我,誰也不能到父那裡去。」如果要跟隨耶穌而生活,就是把自己的人生價值改變過來,才能為主作證。可是我們總是耽於安逸,不敢面對自己的罪過去悔改,白白錯失了成聖自己、 聖化他人的機會。

聖保祿宗徒致希伯來人書勸勉我們該卸下各種累贅,及糾纏人的罪過,以堅忍的心,跑那擺在我們面前的賽程,雙目常注視著耶穌。只要我們能醒悟和悔改,便能開放自己的心,讓聖神的火燃起我們傳教的心火,把天主的和平傳遍普世。

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.”
Luke 12:49-53

In the gospel according to Luke, Jesus said He did not come to establish peace on earth, but to bring division. This might make us feel confused or uneasy. Shouldn’t Jesus be bringing love into the world? Why did He say He came to divide us? By the Father’s will, Jesus draws us into communion with Him. “May they all be one,” Jesus said. “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!” He sent the Holy Spirit to sanctify the world. He yearned that all of us would participate in His salvation plan. But when Jesus was preaching, He knew His salvation would be accepted by some, while rejected by others; and our response to His message can be a cause for conflicts and division, even within families. However, if we were to love God in the highest, this is a sacrifice we have to make.

Just as Jesus’ mother Mary went to Jerusalem to present Jesus to the Lord, Simeon said to Mary: “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted.”

Jesus knew soon He will be taken away, so He said: “There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!” This baptism with which He’d be baptized is His passion and death on the cross, and His resurrection after death. He is eager to see us repent and seek the kingdom of God.

Living out our identity as Jesus’ disciple is a long-distance race. We will face different challenges and opposition along the way, while the biggest opponent can be ourselves. Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” If we want to be His disciple, we must change our values and attitude towards life. Yet we often hide in our comfort zone, reluctant to repent. Not only are we risking our opportunity to become holy, we also delay the sanctification of the people around us.

In his letter to the Hebrews, Paul encourages us to get rid of all the burdens and sins that cling to us, and run the race in front of us with perseverance, with our eyes always focus on Jesus. As long as we can walk away from our sins and repent, and open our hearts to our Lord, the Holy Spirit will inflame our hearts to evangelize for the kingdom of God and spread God’s peace throughout the world.


FLL Editorial Team