Weekly Liturgy : August 15-21
Division over Peace?
(The Message Translation)
49-53 “I’ve come to start a fire on this earth—how I wish it were blazing right now! I’ve come to change everything, turn everything rightside up—how I long for it to be finished! Do you think I came to smooth things over and make everything nice? Not so. I’ve come to disrupt and confront! From now on, when you find five in a house, it will be—
Three against two, and two against three; Father against son, and son against father; Mother against daughter, and daughter against mother; Mother-in-law against bride, and bride against mother-in-law.”
54-56 Then he turned to the crowd: “When you see clouds coming in from the west, you say, ‘Storm’s coming’—and you’re right. And when the wind comes out of the south, you say, ‘This’ll be a hot one’—and you’re right. Frauds! You know how to tell a change in the weather, so don’t tell me you can’t tell a change in the season, the God-season we’re in right now.
Jesus knows there's nothing to unify a community like a common enemy. And he knows this is the pattern the world uses to make peace.
But what happens when the scapegoat for our problems and our angers is removed? What happens when we refuse to divide ourselves into camps of Us vs Them? We tend to take our frustrations out on those who are closest to us, on those who live in our own "house."
Don't be surprised that peace is difficult to come by, Jesus is saying. It requires a way of love and forgiveness all the way through. The alternative is just pain for pain, trauma for trauma, eye for eye and tooth for tooth over and over and over again.
Outward Mindset Application Think about the person who is primarily served through your work. Is it a guest? Another staff member? Someone outside our immediate organization? Then ask yourself: "how well served does that person feel?" Do something this week that improves that answer.
Pathways Toward Centeredness Traditionalism (Loving the world with ritual and symbol): Find a small object that can serve as a totem. At the end of your work day, interact with your totem in a way that symbolizes the completion of your day of service. Some people find it helpful to rub their totem, hold it in their hand, or simply place it in a different location than it was previously as ways leaving the stress and demand of the day behind.
Questions for Reflection How do you define "Family?" What is a favorite family memory from your childhood?