My Dear Family in Christ,
As usual, Our Lord does not hold back in the words of this Sunday's Gospel: "I have come to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!"
"Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but division."
What happened to the Prince of Peace? What about all the warm and fuzzy pictures of Jesus laughing and holding lambs in His arms? These words don't seem especially Christ-like, do they?
The Truth is, this Sunday's Gospel confronts us with the uncomfortable reality that some of our ideas about Jesus and the Christian life may be in need of an adjustment. Jesus is certainly the Prince of Peace, but He will not make peace with Sin, Death, and apathy- and neither can we. Instead, He declares war on them and calls us to do the same.
With this in mind, let us heed the words of our Second Reading'...let us lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before Him endured the Cross, disregarding its shame.'
This week, remember that Jesus has not come to make us comfortable, but saints. We need His purifying fire, the Holy Spirit, to burn away all within us that is not of Him, that we may shine with the His Glory, and be numbered among the 'great cloud of witnesses' as saints in Heaven.