Andrew Olive, Headteacher
Gospel: Luke 12:49-53 How I wish it were blazing already!
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘I have come to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were blazing already! There is a baptism I must still receive, and how great is my distress till it is over! ‘Do you suppose that I am here to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on a household of five will be divided: three against two and two against three; the father divided against the son, son against father, mother against daughter, daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law, daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.’
Families strive for unity and togetherness. Nobody enjoys occasions when divisions in family life become all too evident. Yet, in this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus says that he has come to bring division and that members of households will be divided.
Talk as a family about the things that you do together to bring about family unity (togetherness), such as sharing meals, going to church together, celebrating special occasions, or sharing family traditions. Explain that all of these things are important and that Jesus wants families to show this kind of love for one another. Point out that this Sunday’s Gospel sounds as though Jesus is saying something very different. Tell your children to listen closely as you read aloud Luke 12:49-53.
Explain that sometimes as parents, you have to make decisions that are unpopular with your children. You don’t do it to divide the family but because it is the right thing to do. In the short run, such decisions may “divide” children from their parents. In the long run, however, doing the right thing will bring about a deeper unity. Talk to your children about decisions that they have to make that might be unpopular with their friends and how these decisions may divide them from others. Encourage them to pray to the Holy Spirit for the gift of courage (fortitude) so that they may do the right thing even if unpopular. Conclude by praying a spontaneous prayer to the Holy Spirit, asking for the gift of courage (fortitude).