Christ Is A Disturbing God

Reflection on Lk 12:49–53

We’ve grown accustomed to hearing and proclaiming Christ as the Prince of Peace, especially during the Christmas season. Easter is no different, as Christ, in his appearance to the Apostles, always greets them with the word, “Shalom”, which means, “Peace be with you.”

Yet here we are, confounded by a seeming dilemma of sorts, for Christ, whom we all regard as a bearer of peace and Good News, is saying otherwise, a total contradiction to what He is regarded as.

We ought to remember that when Christ came, it was at a time when Jerusalem was under the Roman Empire, when the Jews were subject to a long list of laws and statutes that they must abide by. Christ came with a simple yet radical message: a message of love. This simple message can only be actuated when one follows him, and his precepts will come forth naturally.

But there lies the crux of the matter: not everyone can take such teaching. As we said, it’s radical, something that entails a total 180° shift, a paradigm shift, a metanoia or change of heart.

There lies the division that Christ speaks of, for not everyone is able to accept his message. Not everyone can and will say, “I love you, and I will follow you.” Not everyone can and will choose to comprehend and embrace that.

Christ disturbed the people of his time with his message. Christ continues to disturb each and everyone of us today. Christ will continue to disturb us, to bring us to a radical shift to follow him. As is the time of Christ, yet more so in the present time, when secularization and relativism seems to be the norm, when the denial of the existence of God seems to be an easier choice than to acknowledge and follow His presence, Christ will continue to be a disturbing force, a force that will rattle our very core, until such day we can say, “Yes, Lord. I will lay it all for you.”

Christ is a disturbing God, and any response apart from a “Yes” will continue to bring about discord and division in us and around us.

May Christ’s disturbance in us bring us to truly and fully say, “Yes, Lord, I will lay it all for you.”

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