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14/08/2016 - 20th Sunday of Ordinary time - C

14/08/2016 - 20th Sunday of Ordinary time - C 

1ª reading Jer 38,4-6.8-10 * from Psalm 39 * 2nd reading Heb 12,1-4 * Gospel of Luke 12,49-57

Whoever has some sort of authority and power does not like to feel disapproved, neither from God and from his word. It is for this reason that some ministers of the king wanted to put to death the prophet Jeremiah: his word disapproved their own disobedience to God. We do not have to feel astonished if this fact repeats itself continually. We ourselves remain sad when someone critics us: it is very difficult to be able to thank someone who makes an observation to us. So we should not feel astonished if Jeremiah, even if he was a prophet well recognized and esteemed, was put into prison. The same news could be found today in our newspaper: if a person tempts to mention the name of god or Jesus in public, he is taken our of that environment and excluded from manifestations in which could repeat the same ‘scandal’.

The expressions formulated today in this brief gospel by Jesus, make us think above all   that he foresee what he was going to find himself in the same situation as Jeremiah, as in fact happened. But he prepares us to live in the same situation. The fire that he lights up is a fire of the persecution, as S. peter tells us. And the baptism in which he will be baptized is that of his passion. The disciples listen to what the master says, knowing that they are his disciples and thus they will have in front of them the same road to travel. And the Lord tells this explicitly: “Three against two and two against three”; even between parents and in the families, with one’s dear friends, enmity will be found. The lives of the martyrs, killed because of Jesus and his gospel, are well explained with these words of Jesus. Some experiences have been lived also by us. When one wants to live the word of the Lord in a radical way, do you find everyone with you? Have you not heard the many bad words and violent words that are heard when one for example wants to hear a religious prime on tv? Or because one wants to attend a religious meeting, is it always approved by your parents? On the 20 July of this year, there was the following news: “ The department of the elders vetoed the pronunciation of the word “God” and “Jesus” during a funeral ceremony in a national cemetery of Huston.” The words of Jesus continue to be true and and creating adversity. Jeremiah was freed because the Lord know how to create sentiments of truth in men even in a hidden way. And Jesus passed through persecution till death, but from death he was freed and was exalted by God himself with the resurrection and the ascension into heaven!

We look at him with attention and love, as the letter to the Hebrews exhorts us: to him, as to him have thought and looked at the “multitude of witnesses” who surround us. A multitude of martyrs that have had their “eyes fixed on Jesus”, have received the strength and the light to truly live “like lambs in the midst of wolves:, even if they have been tormented and killed,

The word of God today is not pessimistic but realistic. It is a word that Jesus did not want to hide. He had already spoke about this way since he had pronounced the beatitudes: “Blessed are you went they insult you, they persecute you and lie, and say every kind of bad things against you because of me”. We have heard this announcement, but we have given it little importance, because living in a society which was founded on Christian values and in the past we did not have to face the verification of situations which are not pleasant. Now that our society refused or holy and beautiful faith and starts to ignore the value of the human person, now the words of Jesus become more actual. Are we ready to live them with serenity, with joy and with decision? Are we ready to be faithful to the gospel, or are we like Peter when the latter was in the courtyard of Anna? There he found the way to shelter himself from the cold by the fire of the guards who had arrested Jesus. For the love of the warmth he did not have the courage to manifest his friendship with Jesus. We, for the love of the commodities, and for some role in society, or because of our profession, do we behave like Peter? Shall we remain silent or renounce the truth of the Gospel.

Let us reread the letter to the Hebrews:

“Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” Thus “ let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”