Today's Scripture Reading Reflection

Creighton U. Daily Reflection

October 22, 2020
by Carol Zuegner
Creighton University's Department of Journalism, Media, and Computing
click here for photo and information about the writer

Thursday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 476 [Optional Memorial of St. John Paul II]

Ephesians 3:14-21
Psalm 33:1-2, 4-5, 11-12, 18-19
Luke 12:49-53
Praying Ordinary Time

St. John Paul II from the Vatican site

I was taken aback when I first read today’s Gospel from Luke. These words are not ones I usually read when contemplating the gospel and what it means in my life. I am more used to those passages that tell us to love one another as Jesus has loved us, as God has loved us. OK, I think to myself. I can do that. I should do that. I work at it every day. But our faith asks more. God sent his son to be human and Jesus certainly experienced the anguish and division. His apostles failed him – betrayed him and disavowed all knowledge of him. He was crucified. What can I learn from this? Peace on earth is difficult and hard. We are divided. To live out God’s work and to commit to a faith that does justice will require facing adversity, facing anguish, facing division.

The message is difficult and makes me unsettled. To do what’s right may mean alienating those I care about. What I need to remember is to find God in all things. To remember that standing up for what I believe does not mean demeaning others. Even in the midst of the division, we have to work for understanding, the kind of understanding that God has for us. My reflections have made me think of Father Greg Boyle, S.J., the priest who works with gang members in Los Angeles. Amid the crushing poverty and violence, he sees humanity. Father Boyle reminds us: “There is no us and them; there is only us.”

Jesus did not shy away from or sugar-coat the truth. Healing the divisions is not easy. We have to be ready for division and we have to stand with and for those whose voices aren’t heard. We have to remember that God is with us.

The first reading from Ephesians offers a good prayer for me today.

“that you, rooted and grounded in love,
may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones
what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge,
so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

I pray for that grounding in love that will fortify me through the division and to live out the breadth and length and height and depth of the love of God.

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