LK 12: 49-53


In our country’s most recent election campaign, we witnessed the worst proliferation of fake news, deliberate misinformation, and distortion of historical truth. Many young people began to take active part in discernment, rectification and verification. This brought them in conflict with their parents, some of whom have grown comfortable with the status quo, with indifference, or compromise with reality. One parent wrote a letter to a university berating the officials there for “planting ideas” in the heads of her children.


One of the things we most value is unity… even just the semblance of it. We don’t want people to see the crack in our relationships, the fragility of our families and the divisions that are driving people farther away. We are experts in projection – projecting smiling faces though there are hurting hearts and showing happy families though disagreements and arguments are our constant fare. We like to pretend to have unity at the cost of ignoring the need to confront problems tand seek healing together.


The gospel records one of the Lord Jesus’ most controversial statements: “I have not come for peace… but for division.” How can this be? Did Jesus not work for the reunion of all in his Father’s kingdom? Did he not pray for the unity of all his disciples at the Last Supper? Did he not prophesy that when he is hanged on a cross, all will be gathered to behold him?


The Lord is teaching us that the peace, unity, harmony, and companionship he came to bring were not temporary; not bogus; not superficial. People who will follow Jesus will be forced to make decisions for themselves and not according to what others say, however powerful, influential or intimate these people are to them. Encountering Jesus, everyone will be asked to make a difficult choice that will set them apart even from their loved ones.


Many Muslim converts to Christianity have to flee from their neighborhood and endure the scorn of their families who cannot accept their decision. Faithful employees who fight for positive changes at work sometimes have to look for another job. Family loyalty may need to crumble when principles of truth, justice and peace are at stake. Guided by the Spirit, Christians may at times have to encounter conflict, opposition or hatred by the people they love or care about.


Have you ever experienced parting ways with people because of your faith, the gospel values you live by, or the personal principles you want to uphold? Let us pray for strength and courage to find our consolation in the Lord Jesus who never abandons us even if the whole world turns its back on us. Amen.