Notes from a Homily on Luke 12:49-53 by Father Raphael Iannone

Homily on Luke 12:49 53 by Father Raphael Iannone

Luke 12:49-53 I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished! Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.

This is a real mystery of faith. Jesus of Nazareth – loves, heals, tells people God offers wholeness of life.

The religious leaders rejected Jesus instantly, not hearing what Jesus was saying. Why would they reject Him like this?  Because of fear, anger, and hatred.

A poll done in the twentieth century asked the respondents if Jesus came back, how would he be treated. They stated that He would be killed again and more quickly than during Jesus’ time.

Working within us is something that resists the Gospel and something that attracts us to the Gospel. We are drawn to New Life, but there is a part of us that resists change and that part rises up fear, anger, and hatred within us.

Jesus – the one who loves also brings fire.

We tell Jesus to keep out of our lives, we don’t want the fire that brings change.

Robert Bell speaks of the mysteries of the Bible. That Jesus touches lepers, hears the cry of blind Bartimaeus, dines with tax collectors, and talks with the Samaritan Woman (someone He was culturally not supposed to speak with). Jesus goes to the edge, bumps against the margin.

He reaches out to those who are in trouble, who are despised, weak, ignored.

Jesus is the living, breathing evidence that God wants everyone reached, saved, and touched by His presence.

Jesus challenges the conventional wisdom that God only wanted to deal with the select few (the Israelites). He confronted the system and showed that God wanted to reach everyone.

Jesus fulfilled what was prophesied about Him, and that provoked those who were in charge of the Temple, for their power was challenged. This led to Jesus’ arrest, trial and execution.

Jesus is an example of what it means to put new wine in old wineskins – the fire of the Spirit purifies the soul of self-centeredness and pride, which is the root of our enmity and hostility.

Jesus doesn’t stand for status quo. The status quo needs to be changed so we can (with God’s help) bring about what ought to be.   Some will accept this transformation; others will reject it.

Quote inscribed on an Anglican Bishop’s tomb:

“When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits, I dreamed of changing the world.

As I grew older and wiser I discovered the world would not change –

So I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to change only my country, but it too seemed immovable.

As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt, I settled for changing only my family, those closest to me, but alas, they would have none of it.

And now I realize as I lie on my deathbed, if I had only changed myself first, then by example I might have changed my family. From their inspiration and encouragement I would then have been able to better my country,

And who knows, I might have even changed the world.”

When we change ourselves we change our family, our nation and the world. It is difficult to change our lives. We hesitate when we realize we need to change. It makes us uneasy and we find change threatening.

Jesus is asking for substantial change –to be called upon, to renounce what we have made our own, to renounce our anchor.

Father Raphael told a joke about a man who was dating a woman

The woman told him to stop smoking – he changed and stopped smoking.

She told him to stop drinking – he changed and stopped drinking.

She told him to stop swearing – he changed and stopped swearing.

She told him to stop gambling – he changed and stopped gambling.

After two years he never married her. When asked why, he said, “I reformed so much that I figure I can do better than her.”

Repent and believe in the Good news. This brings with it demands for rebirth, renewal, and change – a change of heart, a change beneath our surface.

As we follow the reign of God in our lives we will forgive those who have hurt us, we will pray for those who mistreated us, bless those who hate us, humble ourselves, become compassionate for those we may think unworthy of compassion.

Dedicate ourselves to change and don’t stay with the status quo. When we work on changing ourselves, we provide an example to others that they can follow and also change. By changing ourselves, we influence our family, our neighbors, our friends, and the world.

But not everyone will change – there will be division in families when some members change and others don’t.

Be filled with the Spirit and let God change us deep within. We need God’s Grace to reorder our life. God will help us to change and that change will affect our neighbors, friends, family, and the world.

Hoping you had a wonderful Sunday.


About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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2 Responses to Notes from a Homily on Luke 12:49-53 by Father Raphael Iannone

  1. awesome post Heather!

  2. I like your statement “Jesus – the one who loves also brings fire.”

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