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From Fr. Brito, Pastor

August 14, 2022

20th Sunday in Ordinary Time

     Today's gospel can be very difficult to understand and at first, it may seem contradictory to the rest of Jesus' teachings.  Jesus says in today's Gospel: “Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? What do you think our initial response would be? Yes, Lord, you have come to bring peace to the earth. But this answer would be a mistake and that is a big surprise to us. Jesus give the shocking answer: “No I tell you, but rather division. 

      When Jesus came forward to offer himself as the Lamb of God the one who takes away the sins of the world, he stood before Pontius Pilate, and Pilate questioned him: “Then you are a king?” Jesus replied: "You say I am a king, for this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice” 

It is precisely this truth that divides humanity, to the point that a father is against his son and the son against the father, a mother against her daughter etc. 

      Jesus says in todays Gospel; “I have not come to bring peace, but division ” 

I was talking to someone yesterday and the subject of abortion came up. The person said I cannot comment on that because it is a personal decision and besides to speak we risk division. People are divided on the issue of abortion and many other issue as well. But to use the example of abortion is to use the most divisive issue of our day. 

One side, called Pro-Choice, is the defense of women's rights to have abortions, while the other side, "Right to Life" is the defense of the rights of the unborn child to have the right to live.  As Catholics we believe that the teachings of the Church are based on the truth that comes from Christ. Which side is correct? The Church clearly teaches which is the right side. Those who defend life are defending the truth and the truth divides, as we have seen in the news. 

       The question we must ask ourselves is: Is my faith real or superficial? 

Some may protest: "That is a personal decision and you should not get involved. 

One of the sons of Adam and Eve, Cain, after killing his brother, was asked by God: Where is your brother? He answered: Am I my brother's keeper? Jesus knew that his message of truth, which is goodness and love, would be attacked by evil and hate. We must have the courage to always seek the truth and the courage to stand up for it, even if it may divide. We must be our brothers and sisters keepers. If we do not stand for the truth, we will not have anything to stand on. The truth is Jesus Christ, the rock on which we can securely build our house. But the one that build his life on lies and deception, are building for no reason and their house will collapse and be in total ruin. “Unless the Lord builds the house the laborer toils in vain”.  In the light of Truth division begins to happen, because many prefer darkness and lies. We must listen to the voice of truth and reason. The voice of truth and reason come most clearly to us from the authentic teachings of the Catholic Church, which was established by Jesus himself. The Church is the means in which the Gospel and teaching of Jesus are transmitted to us. Those who prefer darkness hate the Church and in doing so hate the one who has laid down his life for her. 

     As Jeremiah was hated and persecuted for speaking the truth, so also we will. We can play it safe and never say anything, but in doing so we will be asked to account for our silence. Do not be afraid to speak the truth to your children, to your family and to your friends. In doing so you are risking division, but not doing so you are risking their salvation and maybe yours also. Amen