It is natural that we want to experience heaven already. Heaven will be wonderful. Work will no longer be pain. There will be no more illness and no more loneliness. But more so than this, there will be no more division. What does Jesus mean when he says, “I did not come to bring peace on earth but rather division?” How come he doesn’t bring that peace and unity of heaven to us right now?
We like to see movies and television shows with war and division, but this isn’t really how we want to live is it? If we are going to actually experience the effects, we’d rather live in peace and unity. On movies we find it exciting to see whole nations lined up with weaponry crashing into one another, or in soap opera type television shows, the betrayal and infighting between friends and family, but in reality, we don’t want war and division; it might bring excitement for a moment, but that moment is passing and we are left battered and sick. Instead we want a life of peace and unity amongst all people. When there is peace and unity, our culture, our humanity can flourish; the arts, education, and religion can be practiced more in times of peace. Instead of spending our energies on destruction and death, we can spend our energies on growth and life. But what brings unity and peace? In today’s second reading we are told, only Christ can bring peace to us. Only the Holy Spirit can bring true unity. Only God can stop the war and division between people and within each person.