The Cathedral Connection 18 August 2019

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Jesus – Bringer of Peace or Division

 At first sight, today’s Gospel is confusing. This doesn’t seem to be the Jesus we all know! Preachers and people alike find it hard to reconcile these passages with other passages of scripture.

One explanation is that the language of Jesus’ time was not as ‘robust’ as modern languages and nuances get missed. So, in those days, in order to say, ‘I like Mary more than Jane” I would have to say, “I love Mary, I hate Jane.’ Hearers and readers would understand, but we would say it differently as our languages are more developed.

There has also been unnecessary division amongst the followers of Christ, and even Christians relationships with those of other faiths. This goes against the words of Jesus in John 17/21 – ‘Father, may they all be one, as I am in you and you are in me!’ Yes, some of our divisions have been both unnecessary and unjust, and often a scandal.

But I think Jesus’ message here is really about passion. From the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, we follow Jesus’ journey from his Galilean home towards his death in Jerusalem (Luke 9:51-19:27).  There is an urgency about Jesus’ message.  In numerous passages about discipleship and judgment day, Jesus warns against stocking worldly wealth, as we read a fortnight ago about the rich fool building barns for a retirement that he did not have. The decision to follow Jesus or not will separate people.

So, the real point of the gospel is the decision to follow Jesus completely now – Yes or No.  Some points for reflection —  Is there an urgency and passion in my life? If so, what is it for? What are the costs to follow it: peace, money, time, relationships, etc.? What would be the cost if I do NOT follow that passion now?

Fr Ron Bennett, Moderator.

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