Homily for the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
Theme: A test of fire
By: Fr. Benny Tuazon
Homily for Sunday August 18 2019
(Lk. 12:49-53) Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
In today’s Gospel, Jesus gave a very strong message regarding His mission. He used the imagery of fire to communicate His message of repentance and conversion. And It was so urgent that He wanted it asap! Jesus was honest to add that His presence and teachings will bring division among relatives and friends. Peace will be threatened.
Initially, it is hard to believe words like these came from Jesus. He was the Prince of Peace remember? And why would He wish destruction on anyone? It is clear that He meant fire not as a destructive agent but a purifying one. A test of fire is a test of gold. In Jesus, the authentic and the fake will be revealed. The sheep will be separated from the goat. The true Christian will persist while the assuming ones will fall behind.
These statements are not new to us. We know one who is so reckless with words that makes him subject to a lot of criticisms. Words like, “I will kill you!”, “I will declare Martial Law!”, and “I will remove Congress!”, are so effective that everyone listen and react. For Jesus, He wanted everyone to make stand and express their commitment. He does not encourage fence-sitters or lukewarm people. To be a Christian means to choose Jesus as his Lord and King.
Remember the RH Bill? Many families and friendships were threatened on the basis of what is the Christian position or not. The last presidential elections, same sex marriage, and the resurrected death penalty also followed the same controversy. These were not only issues of politics, economics, and morality. They are also issues of faith. Where do you stand? Some wanted to save and have both positions. Yet they are contradictory and cannot be both reasonably held. The division has become external and internal. There is an absence of peace among relations and in the person. Jesus offers Himself as the best option. Choosing Him gives true and lasting peace.
In the finale of the movie IGNACIO DE LOYOLA, Ignatius was sent and commanded to go and set the world on fire. All of us, by virtue of our baptism, are commanded the same.