August 18, 2013 — Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
All of today’s readings, and the Gospel from Luke in particular, deal with conflict. In Luke 12:49-53, Jesus speaks of division. He is reminding us that living lives of stewardship, truly following Him as a disciple, is not easy.
If we are genuinely going to place Christ at the center of our lives, there will be tension, for with the Lord there can be no compromise. We live in a society that seems to thrive upon controversy and contradiction. Unfortunately, these “divisions” can occur within our families, our communities, with those whom we love.
Have you ever heard a public figure speak at length and come away unsure of what exactly was said? It is as if they do not want to be clear on things because truth brings division. Jesus is perfectly clear, however. It is as if He is saying, “If you really want to follow Me, you have to be prepared for the consequences.” He does not back down from the fact that He must face what He calls “baptism with fire” — that is, His death on the Cross for us.
Stewardship is not comfortable. It means that we follow our faith and live responsibly even at times when others may look at us with scorn and anger. Christ is with us, however, and He walks with us throughout the “race.”