Thursday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time

Denial is a 2016 British-American drama which recounts an Emory University historian, Deborah Lipstadt’s legal battle for her historical interpretation against a Nazi apologist, David Irving.  Irving accuses Lipstadt of libel when she declares Irving to be a Holocaust denier.  Lipstadt’s decision to fight against Irving in court creates division within the Jewish community as they recommend to her to settle the case.  She causes further division when she follows her lawyer’s strategy of involving no testimony from Holocaust survivors. The truth-telling theme that runs throughout the film, however, always coincides with division.

It is interesting to note that today’s Gospel does not state that unity is the highest goal.  Rather, bringing fire to the earth is the highest goal. What Jesus meant with his words is that standing up for truth is greater than unity and sometimes defending the truth will cause division. Jesus came to bring the truth of the Kingdom of God and as a result he would create division, a division which eventually leads to his crucifixion.

Let us pause and listen to the Gospel passage and imagine that you are speaking directly with Jesus. What do you want to say now to Jesus who wants to bring fire to the earth and cause division?

October 20th, 2016