Explore The Gospel

The Gospel

August 14, 2022

20th Sunday

In Ordinary Time

Luke 12:49-53

 

Jesus as Cause for Division:  In this short excerpt from the Gospel of Luke, Jesus tells his disciples that he has come to bring fire to the earth. He will be a source of division in households: father against son, mother against daughter and so on. “From now on five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three…” (v. 52).

Being a peacemaker is just part of the job description for parents. Squabbles over who gets the last cookie, who pushed whom first and whose turn it is on the computer are normal household occurrences. The secret to peace on the home front is finding solutions that strengthen relationships. Peace is not the opposite of conflict. It is a way of solving disagreements without hurting each other physically or emotionally—and certainly without resorting to violence. In their book Parenting for Peace and Justice, Jim and Kathy McGinnis offer a four-step approach to bringing about peaceful solutions in volatile situations.

They tell us that unless children are threatening or engaging in abusive actions, it is best for parents to stay out of the argument. Children need to learn how to broker their own disagreements. When someone is hurting or threatening another, however, you need to step in and separate the youngsters. Send them to different spots to cool down and think over the situation.

After a little time, go to each child and listen (without comment) to his or her story. Bring the children together with the understanding that they will have a certain amount of time to solve the problem by themselves before you impose your own solution. The McGinnises report that because their solutions were almost always less tolerable than their children’s, mutual solutions were usually found.

Learning to deal with conflict in a peaceful way is a valuable skill—certainly one the world needs. And by teaching our youngsters to be peacemakers, we are helping them realize their call to be children of God.

 

Bringing Home the Gospel

As a parent you are responsible for the members of your flock. It is up to you to protect and nourish them, and, somehow in your busy schedule, find time to be a family.

Family Response

Using each of the letters in the word peace, make a list of some things (words or phrases) that might bring peace to your family or the world.

 

Personal Response

What was the primary form of punishment in the family you grew up with? How do you respond to your children’s disagreeable actions? What could you do to improve your response?