“Always choose love over fear.” – Adrienne Posey
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Jesus said, “Do you think I have come to establish peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.”
Such a seemingly disturbing quote today!
I thought Jesus was the so-called “Prince of Peace”?
Yes, he is.
But only if you accept his gospel message!
And that gospel message is that God is the unconditional lover of all and everything.
Jesus calls us to follow him in being this kind of lover.
That means loving all people – even those people!
You know, the people you can’t stand; The people who espouse the opposite of your political beliefs; All the people guilty of vile crimes.
Jesus makes this crystal clear when he commands us to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44).
Now do you see why Jesus said that he came to establish division?
The same Jesus who said that loving God and loving your neighbor as yourself were the two greatest commandments is not schizophrenic.
Jesus is being the master teacher here.
He is putting a bulls-eye on our dualism — how we tend to judge others and cast them out.
We have to make judgements, of course, as to right and wrong, but the rub is that we are called to do so without severing relationships.
We are called to at least try to love the one we see as wrong.
You have to protect yourself from abuse, but as a follower of Jesus we simply must try to love our persecutors!
How hard this is!
That’s why Jesus goes on to say in today’s gospel passage that households of five will be divided three against two and two against three.
Remind you of today’s political environment?
This radical love is the love that God has for you despite your flaws!
When you experience this love, you stop trying to change others and instead allow this love to change you.
Then you will be able to understand what St. Paul says in the lectionary’s first reading today from Ephesians chapter 3, verses 17 to 19:
“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 the fullness of God.”
May we be emptied of all our fears so that we might be filled with the fullness of Love itself.
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Remember: God loves you!