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Lk 12: 49-53

“I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and what stress I am under until it is completed! Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! 

From now on five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three; they will be divided: father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.


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Proclaim the Reign of God

When I reflect on the division and polarization that afflicts our nation and church, I find myself feeling very discouraged, desiring that we be gifted with a spirit of reconciliation and dialogue that might result in all of us working together for the common good.  But dialogue in a spirit of mutual respect seems to be in short supply.

In this Gospel passage, Jesus speaks of coming not to establish peace but division.  From the very beginning of his ministry, he proclaimed, “This is the time of fulfillment.  The reign of God is at hand.”  Jesus’ proclamation of the reign of God, in both word and deed, welcoming those who had been excluded to table fellowship, and reaching out to the lost and forgotten with a compassionate and healing presence, was met with resistance.  Those who benefitted from the status quo did not want their world to be shaken by Jesus’ ministry.

What feeds our participation in the polarization that afflicts us?  Is my goal really the proclamation of the reign of God in word and deed?  How might I proclaim the reign of God with integrity, while engaging others in a spirit of dialogue and mutual respect?

Lord, send us your Spirit!

Fr. Jim Goeke, SJ, serves at Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, CO as a Math teacher and superior of the Jesuit Community.

 


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Prayer 

Lord Jesus, I feel your gaze on me. You have put a desire in me, calling me to follow you and stand with you and labor with you to bring God’s reign. Please bless me with your Spirit to join you in this challenging and massively important mission!  Amen

An adaptation of an offering prayer from the Kingdom Meditation in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius


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Prayer 

Lord Jesus, you welcome me as one of your little ones. Help me to have the faith of a child, so that I may respond to your invitation to sit with you. Amen.

—Jesuit Prayer team


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Ignatian spirituality reminds us that God pursues us in the routines of our home and work life, and in the hopes and fears of life's challenges. The founder of the Jesuits, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, created the Spiritual Exercises to deepen our relationship with Christ and to move our contemplation into service. May this prayer site anchor your day and strengthen your resolve to remember what truly matters.

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