The Gospel reading from the Mass for Thursday of the 29th Week of Ordinary Time is Luke 12:49-53.

Continuing toward the Passion, Christ addressed crowds and His disciples, warning them to avoid hypocrisy, to fear God, to not foolishly cling to wealth, to not be anxious, to be watchful and of the urgent need for priests to keep watch and be holy.  All of these warnings require a choice and Christ now addresses the reality that many will choose to oppose Christ.

Full of fiery passion, Christ is divinely motivated to bring His Kingdom into existence. An insight into His manly fortitude, Christ alludes to the “baptism” of His coming Passion and His great desire to unleash the power of His Resurrection. Christ’s reference to fire is a prophecy of the Holy Spirit, which will come as “tongues of fire” above the Apostle’s heads on Pentecost; the Holy Spirit will bring a fire of conversion to the whole world. The reference to fire also refers to God’s judgment on unrepentant sinners (Matt 22:7).

Christ makes it clear that there is a Spiritual Combat on earth, with warring factions who will choose sides (i.e. either with Christ or with Satan). Christ warns His disciples to prepare them for rejection of the Gospel and His Church by their family members and the harsh breaks that will occur in families over Him.

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God, Christ’s holy mission burns intensely inside of Him, driving Him towards His Passion.  Divine King, Christ understands that His call to conversion  will cause divisions and warns His disciples to prepare for family turmoil.  Divine Prophet, alludes to both His Crucifixion/Resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost; He foresees the harsh family divisions that will occur as some reject the Gospel. Divine Judge, Christ alludes to the fiery consequences for souls who choose to be separated from Him.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Many are fooled by false spiritualists, supposed psychics and false prophets. Marvel at Christ’s accurate predictions of His Passion, Resurrection, the coming of the Holy Spirit, the world-wide Catholic Church and the divisions in families over Christ.

2) While Christ does not address the religious division of husbands and wives, many marriages today experience varying degrees of division to to the “disparity of cult” (a man’s wife is not Catholic, or vice versa). Review the Catechism’s teaching on the Disparity of Cult (CCC 1633-1637) and pray for Christ to help you to be a loving witness who draws your wife to His Church.

3) Christ accurately anticipates the religious division many of today’s families experience: some Catholics have embraced heresies and many have left the faith to become Protestant, atheist, agnostic or even non-Christian). Review the Catechism’s teaching on Who belongs to the Catholic Church (CCC 836-838), The Church and Non-Christians (CCC 839-845) and Outside the Church there is no Salvation (CCC 846-848) and pray for Christ to give you prudence and charity to lead all of your family to Heaven.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Luminous Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Holy Eucharist

Virtue of the Day – Fortitude

Corporal Work of Mercy – To shelter the homeless

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To bear wrongs patiently