Soul Food for Sundays

A Reflection for the Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time, 14th August 2022

Reflections 14th August 2022
Luke 12:49-53

The Author: Ronan Barry
calendar_today Date: July 26, 2022 - 3 minutes read

For eons, older generations often see the young people coming up and lament. The young of today “have exalted notions, because they have not been humbled by life or learned its necessary limitations.” So argued Aristotle about 2,400 years ago! Or how about a more modern – but equally unfair – view? ‘Generation snowflake’!

Forgive me when I tune out when I hear that “Generation Snowflake” reference. The distinguishing characteristic of a “snowflake” is a willingness to take offense at the ‘slightest little thing’. There is an idea that young adults have somehow been spoiled by their sheltered upbringing and are now unable to cope with the harsh realities of life. As such thinking goes, previous generations were dedicated to hard work while young generations expect everything to be handed to them on a plate.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus is disturbing the peace. It is a difficult Gospel to understand but, of course, it must be taken in context. He is talking about the difficulty of future challenges and trials. He paints images with words where families are divided and separated, a division and   separation that are part of our lives today.

In today’s world we see Christian leaders divided against each other, we see countries at war with each other despite shared beliefs and culture and, in the face of climate injustice, we see country after country dismissing the facts. Today’s world can be characterised by separation and division.

Disturbing the peace is not about making ‘war’ and causing separation; it is about living in a faithful way to the Gospel.  It is difficult, but we are called to be courageous. Let us remember the lives we are called to live.

We Need Saints, (by Saint Pope John Paul II and quoted by Pope Francis)

We need saints without veil or cassock.
We need saints who wear jeans and sneakers.
We need saints who go to the movies, listen to music and hang out with friends.
We need saints who put God in first place, but who let go of their power.
We need saints who have time everyday to pray and who know how to date in purity and chastity, or who consecrate their chastity.
We need modern saints, Saints of the 21st century with a spirituality that is part of our time.
We need saints committed to the poor and the necessary social changes.
We need saints who live in the world and who are sanctified in the world, who are not afraid to live in the world.
We need saints who drink Coke and eat hot dogs, who wear jeans, who are Internet-savvy, who listen to CDs.
We need saints who passionately love the Eucharist and who are not ashamed to drink a soda or eat pizza on weekends with friends.
We need saints who like movies, the theater, music, dance, sports.
We need saints who are social, open, normal, friendly, happy and who are good companions.
We need saints who are in the world and know how to taste the pure and nice things of the world but who aren’t of the world.

This is supposed to be us!!!

Image by Dominic Wunderlich from Pixabay

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Ronan Barry

Ronan is the Director of Spiritan Mission Ireland. For a decade he worked with Spiritan Education Trust, the patron body of Spiritan schools in Ireland, where he led the work of its Identity, Faith and Mission Office. He lives with his family in Co. Kildare.