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.