Thursday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time

Eph 3:14-21; Ps 33:1,2, 4,5,11,12, 18,19; Lk 12:49-53

It is the design of God’s heart that matters most.  It’s not about us and our design for life and the universe; it’s about God and his design.  We are the upright who give thanks and chant his praises.  Indeed, we exalt in the LORD!  All his works and every word that comes from his mouth are trustworthy.  He teaches us how to love justice and right.  We know his kindness.  Indeed, it fills the earth—the goodness of the LORD.  Nations find true blessing in the LORD; these are the people the LORD has chosen for his own inheritance.  The eyes of the LORD are upon us who hope for his kindness, and he delivers us from death and preserves us in spite of famine.  Indeed, the Father has given us the inner riches of the fullness of the love of Christ that far surpasses all Saint Paul could have imagined and all that we could have asked or imagined.  Indeed, we have a blessed unity that does not eliminate the distinction among those who believe and those who do not.  Indeed, the sword of the Gospel cuts between bone and marrow and separates and divides.  The LORD divides not for our own glory and pride, but for our attentiveness and service.  The LORD does summon us to witness and to reach out to all who are separated from all who believe.  Indeed, the LORD wants all people in every nation to share in his Holy Communion here and now and ever and forever.

Saint Paul is an intercessor.  With him we share the same ministry of prayer.  We must kneel before the Father every day interceding for all that Christ may dwell in the human heart.  Indeed, the Father is the original father.  We know what it means to be father because of God Our Father; it’s not the other way around.  It’s not that we know what father means from our fathers and we project this concept on to God.  Indeed, God is Father from all eternity.  It is not some function he performs; it is his identity—the Eternal Father of the Eternal Son—in the power and person of the Holy Spirit.  Saint Paul prays for every family in heaven and on earth, especially for those in the Church in Ephesus.  Saint Paul prays and models for us how to pray for those with whom we share in the Family of God.  We pray that the Father may grant us the strength of the Holy Spirit in our inner most self and that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith.  This indwelling God will enable us to root ourselves in love.  This love is divine, and nothing less.  This is the love that we hope for all those we love.  We want those we love to have the strength to comprehend with all the holy ones the breadth, length, height, and depth of the love of Christ that surpasses all knowledge, so that we may be filled with all the fullness of God.  We pray this way in all confidence because we know in faith that the Father is able to accomplish far more than all we ask or imagine.  As the Gospel proclaims: “Nothing is impossible for God.”

The Lord Jesus has set the world on fire.  Every other revolution has resulted only in the restructuring of the external systemic changes in the socio-political structures.  The revolution of the Gospel has changed the human race from the inside out, from the heart to the hand.  Holy Spirit fire is that divine gift that meets us in the waters of baptism and transforms us here and now and unto the ages of ages!  We are baptized into the death of Christ and raised up in the power of his resurrection!  This radical remaking of our human nature causes division between those who are reborn and those who have chosen to avoid rebirth at all costs.  Such division is evident, all too often, even in families. Among relatives and in-laws, there arises such anguish that it would seem easier to avoid Christ and his Gospel. Indeed, here is the true freedom of the Children of God.  Our strength in Christ enables us to bear the burden of division.  Being planted in Christ, we have the life-giving streams flowing from his wounded side.  Indeed, without the very real burden of division, there is little else to indicate that we are believers.  It’s to be expected; it’s part of the culture clash that begins in baptism and doesn’t end until the end of all things.