Jesus said to his disciples:
“I have come to set the earth on fire,
and how I wish it were already blazing!
There is a baptism with which I must be baptized,
and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!
Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth?
No, I tell you, but rather division.
From now on a household of five will be divided,
three against two and two against three;
a father will be divided against his son
and a son against his father,
a mother against her daughter
and a daughter against her mother,
a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.” Luke 12,49-53
Most of us don’t want to live in the house our Lord describes in today’s gospel, where fathers fight with their sons, sons with their fathers; where mothers fight with their daughters, daughters with their mothers.”
Not a nice house to live in.
Same way with a world on fire. A little fire is all right, but a world on fire? Too much.
We’d rather live in a world Isaiah describes: a holy mountain where the lion and the lamb lie down together and a child can put his hand into a snake hole and not get bit. A peaceable kingdom.
But maybe the situation Jesus describes is a form of the cross he endured. Maybe it’s the cross he asks us to endure today: a world on fire with strife, confusion and misunderstanding. Can the cross take the form of confusion and misunderstanding? It’s hard to live in a world where things are not clear and hard to understand.
Maybe that’s the cross we have to carry today.