Posted October 23, 2013 by FLL Editorial Team in

Jesus: A Cause of Division (2)

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

Now it is the way of holy Scripture to use sometimes the term fire to describe holy and divine words. For as they who know how to purify gold and silver, destroy impurities by fire, so the Savior by the teaching of the Gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit cleanses the minds of those who believe in Him. Yet what are the effects of this fire? Hear again then Jesus’ words: “Or think you that I am come to give peace upon earth? I tell you, no, but division.” And yet Christ is our peace, according to St. Paul: “He has broken down the middle wall: He has united the two people in one man, so making peace: and has reconciled both in one body unto the Father.” (Eph 2:14-16)

Peace is honourable only when given by God. But not every peace is good: there is sometimes, an unsafe peace which separates those who set too high a value upon it from the love of God. For instance: those who have believed in Christ to be willing to follow the same sentiments as those who wander away from the right path and have been caught in the snares of heresies is injurious to us. With these it is honourable to battle constantly against them, and to glory in holding opposite sentiments. So that even though it is a father that does not believe, the son who contradicts him and resists his opinions is free from blame. And in like manner also the father, if he is a believer and true unto God, but his son opposes the glory of Christ, is also free from blame if he disregards natural affection and disowns him as his child. The same reasoning holds with respect to mother and daughter; and daughter-in-law and mother-in-law.

Christ has also declared to us in another manner; “He that loves father or mother more than Me, is not worthy of Me: and he that loves son or daughter more than Me, is not worthy of Me.” (Mt 10:37) When you therefore deny an earthly father for your piety’s sake towards Christ, then you shall gain as Father Him “Who is in heaven.” And if you give up a brother because he dishonours God, by refusing to serve Him, Christ will accept you as His brother. Leave your earthly mother, and take her who is above, the heavenly Jerusalem, “which is our mother:” so will you find a glorious and mighty lineage in the family of the saints. With them you will be heir of God’s gifts, which neither the mind can comprehend, nor language tell.

參考 References:
Catena Aurea (St. Thomas Aquinas)
Sermon 94, Commentary on Luke (St. Cyril of Alexandria)

Another reflection for the same gospel reading: Jesus: A Cause of Division

FLL Editorial Team