THURSDAY OF THE TWENTY-NINTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Brothers and sisters:
I am speaking in human terms because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness for sanctification.
When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. So what advantage did you then get from the things of which you now are ashamed? The end of those things is death. But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Psalm 1:1-4, 6
Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers; but their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law they meditate day and night. They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper.
The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
Jesus said to his disciples:
“I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and what stress I am under until it is completed! Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! From now on five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three; they will be divided:
father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
What happens when we are not at peace is not always bad. When our conscience bothers us, we are not at peace. When someone sets a better example than we do, we are not at peace. When we are attacked or treated with cold indifference, we struggle to have peace. So to find ourselves dealing with less than peaceful feelings, even in our own family relationships, may be the Lord's will for us. The Spirit may be trying to get us to pay attention to our feelings and aim to find reconciliation.
When we are at odds with people in our own homes, we can pray and offer sacrifices that we would not otherwise do. Our witness may be irksome to others. It may disturb their peace but it will make an impression that must be resolved.
Only those who are detached from life, who have no passion for truth or justice, can keep an unflappable, disinterested attitude toward our human condition. The Lord desires us to be on fire for the works of God and for the virtues of faith, hope and charity. When we are burning for the Lord, and we are being consumed by the Spirit of God, we are the light that He desires for our world.