10.25.18 Thurs. wk. 29 – O. T. – (II)
St. Paul’s to Ephesians 3: 14 – 21
Luke12: 49 – 53
†Jesus said his disciples: “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing”! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.” The Gospel of the Lord.
Homily: Fr. Mike Murphy Revolutionaries of Love
“I have come to light a fire on the earth, and how I wish it were blazing”. (Luke 12:49) These are the words of a Revolutionary – a call to destroy the status quo – to tear down old structures. The political and religious world that †Jesus lived in was corrupted and it was dysfunctional. Civil and religious leaders had failed the people and violence, hatred, self–interest reigned. Many had felt that God had simply abandoned them.
It’s interesting how we can see some similar parallels in our time as well. †Jesus came to change it all. He came to show us ‘a new way’. †Jesus revealed Himself as Emmanuel – ‘God is with us’ – God walking among us. He came to light a fire on the earth – to send the purifying fire of the Holy Spirit: “To renew the face of the earth”. But – it seems it was a short-lived revolution. Yes, Christianity spread all around the world – but the world is hardly on fire with the love of Christ. Violence, hatred and self-interest continue to reign in our world.
What has happened – or – rather – what has NOT happened – that should have happened? The world is indifferent to the revolution of †Jesus – to His way – His truth – and His life. It is simply indifferent! We are indifferent about Gospel values – we prefer the status quo – to be safe and comfortable. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI wrote: “The world promises you comfort – but you were not made for comfort – you were made for greatness”!
We read this in the Letter to the Ephesians: “For He who is our peace, broke down the dividing wall of enmity.” (Eph.2:14) Many today are indifferent to these words of St. Paul. There is indifference toward traditional morality – and Gospel values. Many Christians, choose to follow the way of the popular culture. They do not want to offend others with the truth – so they just remain silent – and they don’t speak up. They don’t fraternally correct those around them. Many are also indifferent to their spiritual life – it’s just too hard to live a spiritual life – it’s too hard to pray every day – so let’s forget about it. They are indifferent. No revolution in history has ever been ignited by indifference.
A revolution starts with ‘a passion for a new way of life’ and traditionally – there are three elements to every revolution.
First: A desire for radical change. The old order must give way to a new order. †Jesus has shown us the way to this radical change. Selfishness must be replaced by love – and (pointing to the crucifix hanging on the wall behind the altar) He gave His life to show us the way. The greatest weapon of this revolution is ‘Sacrificial Love’.
The second element: Violence! Every revolution entails violence and the revolution that †Jesus began is no exception. But for the revolution that †Jesus started – it is a violence of Love – of LOVE! Started again by †Jesus on Calvary. He died to show the Father’s Love for us – and – the ends to which God would go to save us and to show us how much we are loved.
The third element of a Revolution: There has to be a people ready to risk ‘EVERYTHING’ for the cause. We see this in the lives of martyrs and saints throughout Christian History – because we are all called to holiness. But – are we ready to risk everything out of love for the Gospel? Are we ready to risk it all for ‘The Revolution of Love’?
“Light your lamps and be like servants who await their Master’s return…I have come to set the earth on fire” (Luke 12:35, 49) the Lord said. Our lamps are not ablaze – because most people are indifferent – but the revolution and purifying fire begins with me – with you – with us. Despite the struggles – we must not turn our backs on the way of †Jesus. We must embrace our responsibility with love. I must live the moral life – despite sacrifices – with love. I am committed to my spiritual life – even if I am ridiculed – with love. I recognize there is more to living – than what the world offers – I live with love and self-gift. There comes a time when a choice must be made by the disciples of †Jesus – and it will involve conflict with people – even people that I love. †Jesus said families may be divided: “a father against his son…mother against her daughter.” (Luke 12:53)
The reason there is no blazing fire is because we are afraid – afraid we will be isolated – alone – ostracized – if we stand up for what †Jesus calls us to. But the author of the Letter to the Hebrews reminds us that we will never be alone because we are “surrounded by a cloud of witnesses” – those who have courageously gone before us – living this ‘Revolution of Love’ – those who have given everything. They are praying for us and they are cheering us on from heaven. Heroic saints have gone before us and they are the sign that this can be done – even in our time. We can ignite this ‘Revolution of Love’ even now.
We can be ‘Revolutionaries of Love’.
But first we have to forget our indifference to God’s ways – because all have sinned – and – all of us have also been redeemed. Let the Holy Spirit ignite the fire within you today. Start in your classroom. (speaking directly to the students) Show kindness to one another – to your classmates – be loving. Start the Revolution at Sacred Heart School today! How about doing that with all of us as Revolutionaries like †Jesus. Let the Holy Spirit light the fire within you. Live the way that God intended us to live – faithful – loving – compassionate – because †Jesus challenges us to a life of greatness. He calls us today – to a life of Holiness. The Gospel of the Lord.