“I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and what stress I am under until it is completed! Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division!
From now on five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three; they will be divided: father 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 mother-in-law.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Andrew was angry when he came home for dinner tonight. “I won’t follow him any more,” he said. “It’s too demanding. If you’re not for him, you’re against him. If your treasure is not the Kingdom, then you will lose your life. If you follow him, you will die with him. He wants to set the earth on fire. Some will decide for him, some will not.”
Well, Andrew has always been more cautious than I am. The first hint of a storm, and he doesn’t want to take the boat out. But, I have to admit, I left the dinner table, a bit upset myself, and headed down to the shore to quell my restless mood.
And there he was, alone by a fire, the waves lapping against the shore, the breeze soft, a sliver of the moon in the night sky. I sat down.
“Andrew wasn’t a happy camper today,” he said. That got my attention. “It’s no wonder,” I rejoined. He simply smiled. So I asked him, “How can Andrew and I keep following you when you insist on such a singular focus to life? With you, the Kingdom is an all or nothing proposition. I don’t think we will ever have the strength to be like you.”
“Ah, Peter,” he responded, “We are friends, companions together. Everything else follows from that.”
—Ted Munz, S.J., Chicago-Detroit Province Jesuits
Lord Jesus, teach me to be generous;
teach me to serve you as you deserve,
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labor and not to seek reward,
except that of knowing that I do your will.
—St. Ignatius Loyola, Prayer for Generosity
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