Guest Friar Column
The Christian life is not easy. This Sunday’s readings invite us to look closer at the struggles of living an authentic Christian life. The path of following God is difficult and sometimes contradictory. Just as the prophet Jeremiah experienced, staying true to the word of God can lead to alienation, mistreatment, and persecution. However, the Letter to the Hebrews encourages us to remain steadfast in this struggle, recognizing that Christ himself endured hostility and opposition but still came out victorious.
In today’s Gospel, why does Jesus, the Prince of Peace, claim not to sow peace but division? Jesus recognizes that to follow his way, his truth, and his life, is to be truly counter-cultural. While Jesus speaks of love, compassion, and unity, he also recognizes the devastating reality of sin in the world. Sin brings abuse, corruption, injustice, and oppression, and these are the sorts of things that Jesus wants to set on fire. God gives us the freedom to choose, and while some will choose to follow God, others will not.
It takes boldness and courage to be a true witness to the message of Christ. As we go out into the world, sowing the seeds of the Gospel, let us not become discouraged by the opposition or hostility that we might encounter. Let us rely wholeheartedly on God’s saving power as we cry out, “Lord, come to our aid!”
Bro. Nathaniel Tran, OFM
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