Thursday of 29th Sunday of OT Cycle C

Jesus: A Cause of Division

Joke: “Hey John,” his friend Tony asked, “Why don’t we skip school today to play the most popular famous video game hearthstone?” “Are you crazy?” John said, “My mom will ground me for days”. “Well,” Tony said, “We liar to them then?” “Liar?” John said, “My dad will beat me up.” “You hit him back,” Tony said. “Are you out of your mind?” John responded, “Jesus said that we have to honor our parents.” “Okay. What’s about you hit my dad, and I hit your dad.”

This is a very interesting paragraph in chapter 12 of Saint Luke’s writing. A title of this paragraph is Jesus: A Cause of Division. Has Jesus been truly a cause of division when he preached the Truth, when he healed the sick, when he cured the disease, when he protected the widow and the orphans, when he saved the prostitute from being stoned to death, and many other kind deeds and words he did and said?

In today’s Gospel, Jesus said to his disciples saying, “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!” What is it fire that he’s talking about if it’s not our own baptism? Recalling our own baptism is recalling his baptism. From his baptism, we learned from Scripture that at the moment that he rose from the water at the Jordan River, the moment that the sky opened and the voice from heaven saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” The Spirit of God descending like a dove rested on him (Mt 3:16-17). John the Baptist’s baptism was an incomplete baptism, but at Jesus’ baptism, he completed the Sacrament of Baptism. At Jesus’ baptism, he was set on fire to do what? To tell the truth. What happened to him when he testified for the truth? People were amazed, but some questioned him, others tested him, still others hated him and wanted him to die. This division was so great that he said “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.” What caused this division when Jesus came to testify for the truth? Or rather, what was the truth that he testified that caused division?

To find out what was the truth that Jesus came to testify that caused division, we are invited: 1. To let go off our busy mind, busy life at home, at work, or wherever that is; 2. To spend time to listen to the Lord to find out what was the truth that Jesus came to testify that caused division; 3. The theme for Unity, why do we pray for unity? What is the truth that would bring unity instead of division? 4. The truth will set us free when we learn to reconcile with God and reconcile with one another. Lastly, this Sunday’s Gospel invites us to humble ourselves to acknowledge the need for God and to acknowledge the need for one another. We will know what the truth is if it’s not love that Jesus, in his great mercy and compassion to reconcile us with God the Father through him and to reconcile with one another also through him revealed clearly on the Cross. Is Jesus Christ a cause of division? Or rather, what caused of division if it's not our ego, our self-center that we don’t want to acknowledge the need for God and the need for one another. Would we be able to humble ourselves to acknowledge the need for God and the need for one another? Decision is yours.


Weekday Homilies 2019

Homilies by Fr. Joseph Thang Nguyen

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