Word Columns for August 19

This Sunday is the 20th in Ordinary Time. Fr. Daniel Harrington writes that Luke’s Gospel reading, "presents three initially puzzling sayings of Jesus. He proclaims that he has come to light a fire on earth, to undergo a baptism of death and to bring division rather than peace. What happened to angels singing about peace on earth and Jesus the prince of peace?" Fr. John Donahue notes that "this harshness has a precedent in the vocation of Old Testament prophets, who were distinguished from those false prophets who supported unjust kings and structures by proclaiming peace and prosperity. Jeremiah states twice, ’They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, "Peace, peace," when there is no peace’ (6:14; 8:10-12), and Ezekiel compares false prophetic messages of peace to covering a wall with whitewash (13:10)." There was no 20th Sunday in OT in 2004, so there is no reflection from Sr. Dianne Bergant available this week. Tim Reidy, Online Editor

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

El Espíritu Santo fue la buena respuesta que Dios dio a esos apóstoles aterrorizados antes la perspectiva de quedarse de nuevo solos.
"God does not like to be loved the way a warlord would like, dragging his people to victory, debasing them in the blood of his enemies."
Until now, Islamophobia has been a cornerstone of the Trump presidency, and we should look for more than a momentary shift in rhetoric as evidence for meaningful change.
Pope Francis meets with President Donald Trump on the occasion of their private audience, at the Vatican on Wednesday, May 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino, Pool)
President Donald Trump and Pope Francis held a private 30-minute meeting at the Vatican on Wednesday laden with religious symbolism and ancient protocol.
Gerard O'ConnellMay 24, 2017