When Jesus speaks

The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul

Thursday, Week XXIX, Year I, 24 October 2019

Romans 6:19-23 ><)))*> ><)))*> ><)))*> Luke 12:49-53

The late Joey Velasco at work. From Google.

As I prayed today’s gospel, Lord Jesus, I remembered the late painter Joey Velasco who is best known for his “Hapag ng Pag-Asa”.

Joey portrayed you in a very unique way that is very disturbing, even harsh just like the way you spoke in today’s gospel.

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 I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.”

Luke 12:49-51

Why did I feel that way, Lord?

It seems I have been so conditioned to your image of being “meek and humble”, so gentle like Isaiah’s Suffering Servant who bore all pains and insults.

But more than that imagery that we have nurtured of you like a “baby” within us, Joey’s paintings of you among the poor and suffering disturb us because we are so detached from you.

Yes, we are disturbed and even pained because we have refused to follow you closer among the poor and suffering.

So often, your words shock us and actually bring us back to life because we have actually been dead to sin and evil or the “wages of sin” according to St. Paul in our first reading today.

“That All May Be One” painting by Joey Velasco.
Photo from Google.

We are disturbed because our silence in reaching out to the poor and oppressed is more harsh than your words.

Your words are “harsh” because they are so radical in the truest sense, from the Latin radix or roots – you are shaking us down into our inner core and being to set the earth out on fire with your love!

Your words disturb us because they call us to leave our comfort zones and sidewalks to follow you right onto the dirty road of pain and suffering with the poor.

Yes, you have come Jesus to bring divisions, but not out of our petty quarrels and whims and fanaticisms.

Let us be divided for what is true and good, for what is just and fair.

Let us be divided, Lord, by choosing your side, by standing by your side at the foot of cross with the wounded and unaccepted.

Open our hearts, O Jesus, to the truest sense and meaning of your words to reawaken in us your fire and spirit of loving service for the less fortunate. Amen.

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