Homily of the Apostolic Nuncio, Chapel of the Apostolic Nunciature, Thursday 24 October 2019
Gospel: Luke 12:49-53
Jesus has come to bring fire on earth. The image of fire is frequently mentioned in the Bible and does not have just one meaning. It could be the image of devastation and punishment, but it can also be the image of purification and illumination. John the Baptist baptized with water, but after him Jesus baptized with fire. Here the image of fire is associated to the action of the Holy Spirit who descends at Pentecost as the image of the tongues of fire. 
The image of fire combined with the image of baptism indicates the direction toward which Jesus wants people to turn their imagination. Baptism is associated with the water and it is always the expression of a commitment. At another point, Baptism appears like the symbol of the commitment of Jesus with his Passion: “Can you be baptized with the baptism with which I will be baptized?”.
Jesus always speaks of peace. So how can we understand the phrase in today’s Gospel: “Do you think that I am here to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division”. This affirmation does not mean that Jesus himself is in favor of division. Jesus did not want division. But the announcement of truth that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah becomes a reason for much division among the Jews. 
That is what was happening in the families and in the communities Much division and much discussion as a consequence of the Good News among the Jews of that time, with some accepting and others denying. Not all agreed with this announcement because they preferred to maintain their privileges. This was the division which arose which was at the origin of the Passion and death of Jesus. Jesus wants the union of all in truth.