Jesus reveals He has come to force men to choose and divisions and conflict will occur. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Charity so he can pray for all spouses to be unified in the Sacraments of Christ and by seeking the Gift of Knowledge from the Holy Spirit so he can be guided by the Spirit to evangelize non-Catholics.

Liturgy

20th Week in Ordinary time – Sunday – Cycle C – Lk 12:49-53; 29th Week in Ordinary time – Thursday – Lk 12:49-53

Commentary

Continuing toward the Passion, Jesus offers many warnings to the crowds, all of which require a faith in Him and the choice to serve God. Jesus now makes it clear that He has come to force that choice, and reveals the reality that many will choose to oppose Him. 

Full of fiery passion, Jesus is divinely motivated to bring His Kingdom into existence. An insight into His manly fortitude, Jesus alludes to the “baptism” of His coming Passion and His great desire to unleash the power of His Resurrection. Jesus’ reference to fire is a prophecy of the Holy Spirit, which will come as “tongues of fire” above the Apostle’s heads on Pentecost; the Holy Spirit will bring a fire of conversion to the whole world. The reference to fire also refers to God’s judgment on unrepentant sinners (Mt 22:7). 

Jesus makes it clear that there is a Spiritual Combat on earth, with warring factions who will choose sides, the faithful will choose to give themselves to Jesus, and all others will choose to follow Satan; some explicitly choose Satan (Satanists), some explicitly reject Jesus, some are selfishly evil, and some simply fail to give themselves to Christ when they have the chance. Jesus warns His disciples to prepare them for the rejection of the Gospel and His Church by their own family members and the sharp breaks that will occur in families as some reject Him.  

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Be inspired by Jesus, the Divine King, as He zealously embraces and draws men into His mission: Jesus is Zealous, exuding a powerful Charisma that draws men to Him; Divine Priest, Jesus reveals the Sacrifice (a part of Justice) that comes with baptism, prefiguring the Sacrament of Baptism and the sacrifice of persecution that will come to His men; the perfection of Prudence and Fortitude, Jesus anticipates, accepts and strengthens men for the inevitable division (even in families) in the Spiritual Combat as some accept Jesus and others reject Him. 

Pray for all spouses to be unified in Christ’s Sacraments

Realize: Many marriages today experience varying degrees of division due to a “disparity of cult”, with either the husband or wife choosing to not be Catholic; the disparity of cult is a deep wound on marital unity, for man and woman cannot be fully united if they are not united in Christ through the sacraments of His Holy Catholic Church. 

Believe: Review the Catechism’s teaching on the Disparity of Cult (CCC 1633-1637).

Pray: Jesus, Perfection of Charity, help me build the Virtue of Charity so I pray for all non-Catholic spouses to be received into Your Holy Catholic Church so they can be truly united to their Catholic spouse in Your Sacraments. (If your wife is not Catholic: Lord, strengthen me in charity and wisdom to be a loving Catholic witness to my wife and guide me to do Your Will). 

Be guided by the Spirit to evangelize non-Catholics

Realize: Jesus accurately anticipates the religious division many of today’s Catholic families experience: many Catholics have embraced heresies and many have left the faith to follow a different religion or to become agnostic or atheist. 

Believe: Review the Catechism’s teaching on Who belongs to the Catholic Church (CCC 836-838), The Church and Non-Christians (CCC 839-845), and Outside the Church there is no Salvation (CCC 846-848).

Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Knowledge so I can know when and how to most effectively evangelize those who are not Catholic so that they might be drawn closer to Christ and be saved through His Holy Catholic Church.