I will strive to set a good spiritual example for my family, and will invite someone who has strayed to consider coming back
Introductory Prayer: Father, I
place myself in your presence. I firmly believe in you and love you with all my heart. I entrust
myself completely to your merciful but demanding ways, knowing that you only seek to lead me home to
heaven. I ask you to accept this prayer today especially for my family.
Petition: Lord, help me to ignite awareness of your love all around
Spark That Must Become a Blaze: . Jesus’ intensity and passion break out in radical
expression in today’s Gospel. He yearns for a divine conflagration in the hearts of his disciples.
Jesus endured a true baptism of immersion, steeped in the pain of Golgotha, precisely so that our
own baptism would not be a mere ceremony. Rather he wanted our baptism to be a holy spark of divine
life that, with care and formation, would become a growing flame of authentic Christian holiness.
Indeed, let us fan that flame and never allow external pressures, or our own mediocrity, to
2. Peace, at Any Price? Jesus corrects a misperception in some of his
listeners. Some no doubt expected him to usher in the messianic peace, when the lion would lie down
with the lamb (see Isaiah 11:6-9). No, the time for that peace will be at history’s end, when God’s
Kingdom is established in all its fullness. Till then, Christianity will often find itself in
conflict with the powers of the world. We want to be considered nice people, yet our convictions
will at times bring us conflict. May the spark of our soul be a strong-enough flame to accept those
moments and avoid the cheap peace of acquiescing with the world.
3. Put Up Your Dukes? Should Catholics
be people spoiling for a fight? Not if they want to be good Catholics! Those who love
fighting and arguing may very well find themselves in divided households, but not for the reasons
Jesus really means. Courtesy, gentleness, and the finer details of charity, should characterize the
person who wants to be like Christ. These kinds of people seek to unite, not divide. When they are
dividers, it is because they have to be. They know when the point arrives that if they bend any
further, they’ll break —-- where flexibility would degenerate into infidelity. There are tough, sad
moments when being faithful to Christ means a head-on collision in a very important relationship,
such as the ones Jesus mentions. But when it’s a question of where our first loyalty lies, there is
no debate. Christ must come first.
Conversation with Christ: Lord, you are the center of my
life. I thank you for my family and pray that I will never be a stumbling block for their faith.
Give me the wisdom to know when to speak and when to remain silent. Help me, so that I will never
compromise the Gospel, nor needlessly alienate those whom you have sent me to serve.
will strive to set a good spiritual example for my family, and will invite someone who has strayed
to consider coming back.