Homily...Fire from Heaven

We know that feeling when we're driving (especially when late or in a hurry) and we're held up by traffic or an accident or construction. We get irritated, impatient, angry. Jesus and the disciples were on their way to Jerusalem and they too were interrupted in their journey...not by traffic but by enemies. The Samaritans wouldn't let them pass through. So James & John have an idea: "Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?!" No, Jesus says. Let's just go around them. 

Today there are many groups that are in opposition to each other. Republicans vs. Democrats. Catholics against those who support abortion, same-sex relationships and transgenderism. Individuals & communities against Muslims. We're not talking about the playful kind of opposition found in wanting the Cavs to win over the Warriors. We're talking about people who strongly oppose those who are not like them or who do not have the same values. 

Perhaps there are times when we (even secretly) call down fire from heaven to consume our enemies. But that was not the way of Jesus. In fact, he rebukes James & John for their suggestion. Jesus was a person of peace, even toward his enemies. And his actions matched his words. From the cross, where he was tortured and killed, he said, "Father, forgive them. For they do not know what they are doing." That was the way of Christ. And that must be the way of his followers.