Me: Jesus, can we talk?
Jesus: Sure, we can talk anytime. What's up?
Me: What's up? What's up? Today's Gospel is "what's up." I can't make heads or tails of the whole thing. Just when I think I know You, everything changes!
Jesus: What? What did I say?
Me: Okay look, over and over I have been told things like Jesus is the Prince of Peace and the Devil is the author of division. Every "You" lover shouts "peace!" Heck, sorry, I've even heard You say things like, "blessed are the peace makers." Then there are the songs, "Peace is flowing like a river", "Make me a channel of your peace", and on and on.
Jesus: So what was your question?
Me: Are you the Prince of Peace or a divider?
Me: I thought you might say that. What does it mean? This whole scripture passage today is filled with contradictions - fire/baptism, peace/division, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law/mother-in-law getting along with daughter-in-law!?
Jesus: Does fire consume what it burns?
Jesus: And as it consumes it, does it not provide fuel for the fire which in turn gives light and heat? And would you rather have My fire cast upon the earth or the devil's fire? Where my fire burns and purifies giving light and heat, his destroys.
Me: Okay, I get the point. But what about Baptism?
Jesus: I desired that baptism in order that the spark of faith might strike the world and the wind of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost might fan it into flame.
Me: Cool, I never thought of it that way. But what about the peace and division thing?
Jesus: Can division often bring peace? And can peace often bring division? When one is divided or separated from sin do they not find peace? And when one finds peace can those who do not yet understand this peace often divide or separate from the one who is at peace? I did not come to bring peace to the world but peace to the soul. I did not come to divide the soul but to divide the soul from the world.
Me: Do you always answer questions with questions?
Jesus: In your mind I do.
Me: Why do you always have my voice when we talk?
Jesus: If I didn't, what do think would happen? Really?
Me: Yeah, your right. Hey, what about the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law thing? I mean really, You sure called that one right even if the division isn't because of You.
Jesus: Let's not go there...who knows who might be reading this....
Going DeeperOf course this post is a little tongue-in-cheek but I feel like I often have these "conversations" with the Lord about things. Very often they are more than conversations and turn to heated debates, I should probably talk to a priest about that.
If you are interested in deeper meditations and a real "conversation" with the Lord (not in the format above) I would highly recommend the In Conversation with God library of books published by Scepter. This set of books covers the entire liturgical year and has at least 3 meditations for the readings each day. Divided in this way, this library of books offers the reader 3 years of meditations for the readings give to us by the Church.
Many of the books may also be purchased individually.
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