Our Lady of Fatima Faith Focus - 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Our Lady of Fatima
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The divisions that Jesus sees as he goes about his earthly ministry (Lk 12:51ff) are an anguish to him. He is waiting for the fulfillment of the “baptism” of the cross in order that God, by the power of the resurrection, can “set the earth on fire” with the Holy Spirit (see Acts 2:3). As the prophets reveal God’s judgment, humans are divided in
judgments. Look at poor Jeremiah cast to the bottom of the cistern (Jer 38:6)! No less Jesus. In his prophetic office, Jesus becomes the occasion for people to take sides. The decision for Jesus or against him is so stark that the dividing line can run straight through the closest of relationships, rending them.
At the beginning of creation, God divides, but there is a unity that is retained in the separateness. Light and dark are one to God (Ps 139:12). Man and woman, together, are one flesh (Gen 2:24). It is sin coming into the world that destroys unity. Under its influence, everything is turned upside down. Unity can become destructive, disunity a remedy (see Gen 11:1-9).
New creation, born of the resurrection, sustained by the Holy Spirit, is the work of restoring our original unity and establishing an even more profound unity. No longer Greek and Jew, slave and free, woman and man, but all are one body in Christ Jesus (Gal 3:28). Can we see why Jesus is impatient? Though he must suffer and die, he longs, for our sake, for the restoration that God will provide through his self-giving love.
- Christine Sullivan, Director of Adult Formation
“I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!”
Readings for the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time
For further reflection
We are living through an era marked by divisions – or so we are repeatedly told by the media, from the right and left. Take a side. If you are not with us, you are against us. This is not the vision of a world renewed in Christ. In the presence of God this week, ask yourself:
Am I contributing to disunity or restoration?
How might God be calling me to witness to the power of Christ’s resurrection to heal what has been torn asunder?
Our Lady of Fatima
on Friday, August 16 at 5:00PM