Thursday – Twenty-ninth week – OT2

Please press here to listen to the homily or download

 

Thursday – Twenty-ninth Week – OT2

 Peace

Readings: Eph 3:14-21; Lk 12:49-53.

 

1/ First Reading (Eph 3:14-21): 14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that he may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self, 17 and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to accomplish far more than all we ask or imagine, by the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

2/ Gospel (Lk 12:49-53): 49 “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! 50 There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished! 51 Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. 52 From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; 53 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.”


 

I. THEME: Christ’s truth and love will give people the true peace.

 

            Division happens everywhere on earth: in family and society, between nations and between people and God. The results of divisions are many: separation and divorce in family; racism and crises in society; hostilities and endless wars between nations; despairing and committing suicide for people. What are the causes of the divisions? There are many; but two basic reasons are lack of understanding the truth and of true love.

             How can we mend division? In the first reading, the author of the Letter to the Ephesians teaches that we must understand God’s truth: What is the ultimate goal which He determines for people to reach through all events that He has done for people and how much love He has for people through these events.

In the Gospel, Jesus claims that: “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!” The fire which Jesus mentions here are the truth and the love that He receives from the Father and confers on people.

II. ANALYSIS:

 

1/ First Reading: God’s truth and love exceed human understanding.

 

            1.1/ God’s truth and love: To understand the reason why St. Paul knelt and gave thanks God for his faithful, we need to go back to recognize what the Gentiles didn’t have before Jesus’ coming and what they have after His coming. The principal thing is the mystery of the Holy Trinity. These followings are the Gentiles’ inheritance which they don’t have before confessing their faith in Christ.

            (1) The Father’s truth and love are generally expressed through His creation and providence everything on earth, especially in His Salvation Plan. The Gentiles didn’t know God the Father when they worship other gods and consider them as ones who create and have power on their life. With Christ’s coming, He reveals to them all His Father’s truths; and by faith in Christ, they have the right to call God their Father, and as God’s children they inherit everything that God has for them.

            (2) Christ’s truth and love: St. Paul asked two things for his faithful: Firstly, he asked God for them to have Christ in their mind by their faith. Secondly, he asked for them to be deeply rooted and firmly built on His charity. With Christ’s presence in their mind, the faithful “18 may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth” of the mystery of God’s Salvation Plan. With the firmly built on charity, the faithful may know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that they may be filled with all the fullness of God.

            (3) The Holy Spirit’s truth and love: St. Paul prayed for his faithful to have the Holy Spirit bestowing by the Father: “that He may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner self.” The Father not only gives Christ to reveal the truth but also gives His Spirit to guide people from inside. Jesus also teaches the Spirit will guide you to understand the truth and lead you to all the truths. Without the Spirit’s guidance, people shall not understand Christ’s revelation and could not say “Abba! My Father!”

            With God’s truth and love, the faithful may be filled with all the fullness of God.

            1.2/ St. Paul’s love for God and for others: After comprehended God’s Salvation Plan and permeated with God’s love, St. Paul prays and finds out all ways so that his faithful also comprehend God’s Salvation Plan and are permeated with God’s love. The Salvation Plan is only completed when people understand it and are permeated with God’s love. At that time, there is no longer division, separation, and hostility. Jesus gives this mission for the Church and prays that the Church will fulfill it. Finally, Paul prays: “to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

2/ Gospel: Christ’s truth and love are liked fire thrown to the earth.

            2.1/ Jesus’ wish: He said: “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!” An understanding about the uses of image “fire” shall help us to understand what Jesus said. There are at least three uses of fire:

            (1) To enlighten: When darkness covers the earth, people can’t see anything. The ancients have no electricity yet, they must use fire from candles or lanterns to help them to see. God’s words are compared with fire to dispel darkness which are false or misunderstanding and to enlighten people’s mind so they can understand truths.

            (2) To purify: Fire is also used to take out all dirtiness on metal after using. God’s words can cleanse all bad habits which a person accumulated after a long time.

            (3) To warm up: Besides giving light, fire also gives heat to warm up people when the weather turns cold. God’s words can be compared with God’s love. It gives people having compassion and love to get rid of all division and separation. It also helps people to have zeal to preach God’s words to others. Fire is also compared with the Holy Spirit who is the symbols of truth and love.

            Therefore, the fire which Jesus threw into the earth and wanted it to fire up, is God’s truth and love. Jesus continues to say: “There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!” The Baptism which Jesus mentions here is the baptism in blood, that is His Passion and Death. This baptism is only completed when He dies on the cross to demonstrate His love for people.

            2.2/ Jesus comes to bring division! Jesus’ declaration: “Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division” made many people startled. Many asked: Why does the God of peace come to bring division?

            Firstly, we must differentiate between God’s and human peace, and the way to have God’s peace is also different with human way. The earthly peace is not the true peace because it is based on human knowledge; and war can happen anytime when there is a confliction. God gives His peace not according to human way as St. John said: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid” (Jn 14:27). People can only have this true peace when they truly understand God’s plan of salvation and His love for them. When people have this true peace, it will stay with them forever.

            Secondly, since God’s truth is different with the worldly truth, so Jesus’ teachings shall create division. There are people who believe in Jesus’ teachings as His apostles, disciples and the faithful; but there are also those who reject and disbelieve Him as some scribes, Pharisees, and elders. Not only they didn’t believe the truth they also devise ways to kill Jesus, His disciples, and the faithful. Similarly, when God’s words are sowing in the same roof, there are those who believe and those who don’t believe them. The result is a division. But if all people in the family recognize and believe in the truth, only then that family will have the true peace; and no power on earth can take away that peace.

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:

            – Truth and love are the two conditions to have the true peace. We must clearly understand God’s Plan of Salvation and have His love in us. God’s peace is different with the earthly peace.

            – Jesus is the source of peace. He came to reconcile people with God and with others. The knowledge and the love we have for Christ shall help us to dispel all differences and to reconcile with others.

            – Christ came and threw the fire of truth and of love on the earth and He wants this fire to extend to all. To have the true peace in family and the whole world, we need to co-operate with God by preaching the truth and by sharing God’s love for everyone.

Skip to content