Sunday, August 14, 2016

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor
By Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor 

Quote of the Week: “A saint is not someone who never sins, but one who sins less and less frequently and gets up more and more quickly.” — St. Bernard of Clairvaux.

When a person has something tough or strong to say and knows that it may divide their listener within, they often will tag on this line: “I’m just sayin,’” as if to lessen or weaken, even just a little, the blunt or hard truth that they have just uttered.

Jesus doesn’t do that in this scripture passage. On the contrary, he doubles, or triples, up the ante.

His implied intentions become directly stated and emphasized: “I have come to set the earth on fire”; “how I wish it were already blazing”; “I have come to establish … rather, division.”

Then even more explicitly he draws out clearly the divisions he intends: father against son, son against father, mother against daughter, daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law, daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.

Does Jesus really want division? Is division just a consequence that follows when one makes decisions about opening to God’s kingdom within one’s heart and one’s choices?

Even family, friendship and love can intrude upon living the values and choices which flow from choosing a kingdom life centered on God and his word.

A kingdom choice — like deciding to forgive — can surprisingly, at times, cause division.

Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112; email perry.leiker@gmail.com. Follow Father Perry on Twitter: @MrDeano76.

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