Sunday Gospel Reflection August 18
The following is an excerpt from Cora Evans’ book, The Refugee from Heaven, selected as a reflection for the Sunday Gospel passage Luke 12:49-53.
After an hour’s rest, and having sipped a cup of water, Jesus felt much better. He walked to the platform and extended His arms in blessing over the crew as they hurried to kneel before Him. They exchanged glances of relief, for this was the Master as they had always known Him.
Jesus’ expression alone was a sermon of love. Then His enthusiasm broke into words as He told them His joy over the twelve men who wanted to stay on the island and thus take up the way of life John had followed.
The men looked at one another. How did Jesus know about that? No one had told Him!
One sailor exclaimed, “God knows everything!”
Jesus smiled at the twelve and said, “You will be permitted to remain here if you wish. Your prayers, works, sufferings, and joy will make up My first treasure chest on earth, and I will often dip into it for the graces necessary for future conversions.”
He turned to all and said, “Are you ready to accept My baptism, which will be the New Law’s government of spirit within you and which will remove all darkness of original sin?”
Most of the men answered joyously that they were ready to do anything He asked without question, but several others were puzzled, for they had assumed that the baptism of John was all that was necessary. Why then should it be repeated?
Jesus explained to them the difference between His baptism and John’s baptism – as He had explained it to the Baptizer that day in the Jordan. “John’s baptism,” He said, “was an outward sign that you were willing to do penance, or to perform an actual act of sorrow for sin, which made your soul brighter for My coming. However, My baptism is one of invisible fire, emanating from My Father’s throne. This fire will clothe you in a brightness comparable to Adam’s likeness before he fell from grace and lost the supernatural life for the whole human race. This is the only way you can receive a gift directly from God which will lift you up to a state of transfiguration while you yet live on earth. He will even give a foretaste of the joys of Heaven to a few on earth who abide in grace.”
When the men heard this, they followed Jesus eagerly to the sea and waded in after Him, for this baptism was to be performed the same way as John’s. The Master beckoned to Simon, who was the first to be baptized in the New Law by Jesus, Himself. Andrew was second, and the rest followed in line. Boisterously and joyfully the men then picked Jesus up and carried Him on their shoulders back to the temple. They knelt around Him as little children. At first they were silent, but because they were so filled with joy they broke into cheers.
This has been an excerpt from Cora Evan’s work The Refugee from Heaven. To purchase a copy click here.