Homily for Sun 14 August 2022
“Do you think that I have come to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division,” says the Lord (Lk 12:51). But wait – isn’t Jesus supposed to be the Prince of Peace? Doesn’t he spend most of his final sermon in S John’s Gospel talking about unity: his unity with the father, and how we are all meant to in unity with one another, ut unum sint?
“From now on, a household of five will be divided,” says the Lord. Can this be the same Jesus who said, “I have not come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them?” That not a “jot or tittle” would “pass from the law until all is accomplished?” (Mt 5.17-18.) How can Jesus set “son against father” and “daughter against mother,” when the Ten Commandments include “honour your father and your mother?” When He was Himself “obedient” to Mary and Joseph (Lk 2.51)?
It’s as though we have two different Jesuses. One is the loyal son of a Jewish mother who raised Him in the faith and who sees the natural family structure as being in harmony with the divine law. The other is a revolutionary who wants to overthrow the most basic social bonds. One Jesus calls for unity, the other calls for conflict.