20th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C - 14/8/2016 - Gospel: Lk 12:49-53
Conflict happens when a person has more than one idea concurrent running at the same time and that person must make some choices. It happens within a person or between individuals or within family members, between parents and children, amongst the siblings or with other colleagues and friends. Moral dilemma, social justice, spirituality and faith are major issues that each individual will face in their lives. When one of these issues happens we feel that it overpowers us and we don't know what is best. It dominates our way of thinking and troubles our mind. We feel as if we are powerless because whatever move we make it leaves a trail of troubles. There is no win-win situation. Some issues have nothing to with right or wrong but it may affect our entire future and the quality of life for years. For examples, choosing to be a refugee is a risky business because it affects everyone in a family; choosing a right person to marry is a great adventure, moving into the unknown future. Discerning your future career or vocation is not easy because it shapes our life what we decide today. The biggest of all is the question of faith because it directs our outlook of life, thoughts and behaviours and the eternal life to come.

There are several ways we can deal with conflicts. First, ignoring the problem is not a solution because the problem would not go away. It continues to haunt us. However, avoiding confrontation for the time being may be a good thing because it gives us time to calm down, to think deep and to find the best outcome for the problem. Second, submissive to demands is not recommended because one will live with strain and the unreal relationships. Third, being too rigid can worsen the situation and may permanently harm the relationships. Fourth, if it is possible a compromise is a peaceful way to deal with conflict. It ensures that everyone's needs are partially met. Each gives up an inch to make the gap smaller and finally fill the differences.  These solutions help to satisfy our emotional needs and the peace of mind. The question of faith in Jesus is not only satisfying our emotional needs and the peace of mind but it is eternal life. Having faith is Christ is not the matter of intellectual choice but personal conviction to the faith. The way of the Gospel is the way of life and eternal life to come. It is the openness for change to be more like Jesus, to follow His way. It dictates our daily behaviour living both at home and at work. It is a life of faith and hope in a person of Jesus. In following Jesus there is no midway, no compromise, no giving in a bit but totally committed to Jesus. It is the way of the cross and true commitment to follow but we don't have to do it alone but do it with the help of God's grace and with others brethren.