Reflections - August 14, 2016

“I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!”
Lc. 12:49.
 
On a hot summer afternoon with bright sunshine and a beautiful sunset two young people conversed about how to attract people to the church and one of them said:  “Well it is not necessary to be so direct.  One sometimes has to pretend to have a “blinds eye” so as to not offend anyone.  I don’t want to have problems with anyone”.  The other young man answered:  “I don’t offend anyone and try to be inclusive not exclusive, but I say the truth about Christ.  If Jesus did not want to offend anyone and would have acted as you are saying then He would have died at 100 years old and would not have been assassinated on the cross for our sins”.
 
This young man’s words made me connect with the words from the Gospel.  Jesus said to his disciples:  “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing”.  If Jesus had lived in the time of Pope Francis He would repeat:  “raise chaos”, with a straight conscience.
 
Jesus’ words seem strong but the fire He refers to is the great proposal of salvation that He makes for us.  There are many who would like the message of justice and salvation to be disconnected from the change of life and keep silent in the face of unjust laws against, for example, the life of the unborn and the ideologies that are trying to destroy the institution of the family. Some say:  “it is better to remain silent as to not offend”.  The worst thing would be to close your eyes and take refuge in a religiosity without Christian commitment forgetting what the Second Reading  from Hebrews tells us:  “Persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith.  For the sake of the joy that lay before him he endured the cross, despising its shame, and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God.  Consider how he endured such opposition from sinners, in order that you may not grow weary and lose heart”.  Heb. 12:1-3.  Remember that Jesus is the absolute value even if we have to suffer for Him.
 
There are many men and women who have allowed themselves to be “burned by the fire of Christ’s love, the light of the world”.
 
I want to remind you of all those Christians being persecuted in Syria who are being martyred for their faith.
 
The Nazis assassinated St. Maximilian Kolbe leaving him to die of hunger and cold in a bunker of death because he saved the life of another brother in the concentration camp.
 
More recently the French priest, Fr. Jaques Hamel, parish priest of the Church, St. Eitenne Rouvray, in France was slain a few weeks ago by terrorist groups for defending his parishioners.
 
I propose to you this week of Mary’s Assumption in body and soul into heaven to pray to our Mother imitating her example of deliverance and hope.  She is the comfort to those who suffer “in this valley of tears”, as the litany of the Rosary says.  “She is the Queen of Martyrs, and Mother of Mercy”.
 
Let us pray the Rosary of the Virgin Mary with our family and ask her to intercede with her Son for justice and peace and that the fire of love spill among young people who seek consistency in their Christian commitment.