17 July, 2017: Peace or the Sword

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Monday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1: Ex. 1: 8-14, 22; Gospel: Mt. 10: 34- 11: 1.

Jesus said to his Apostles: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s enemies will be those of his household.”  Matthew 10:34-36

Did Jesus really say this? This is one of those passages that can leave us a bit baffled and confused. We shouldn’t be surprised because Jesus gives similar sorts of instructions at very many occasions. Therefore, what does Jesus really mean? Does He really want to bring the “SWORD” rather than PEACE?

When we analyze this passage in a profound way we would understand that He was speaking about one of the effects of the TRUTH. The Truth of the Gospel has the power to deeply unite us to God when we fully accept it as the Word of Truth. But another effect is that it divides us from those who refuse to be united to God in the Truth. It must be understood that by immersing ourselves in the Truth, we are also putting ourselves at odds with everyone who may be at odds with God and His Truth.

Our culture today wants to preach what we call “RELATIVISM.” This is an idea that says what is good and true for me may not be good and true for you, but in spite of all people having different “TRUTHS,” we can still all be one happy family. But that’s not the case!

The Truth is that God has established what is right and what is wrong.  He has set His moral law over all of humanity and this cannot be undone. He has also set forth the truths of our faith and those cannot be undone. And that law is true for me as it is for you or anyone else.

This passage offers us the sobering reality that by rejecting all forms of relativism and by holding onto Truth, we also run the risk of division, even with those in our families. This is sad and this truly hurts. Jesus offers us this passage in a very special way to strengthen us when this happens in our lives. If division happens as a result of the Truth, then we should accept it as a result of the Gospel, because Jesus too was rejected and we should not be surprised if that happens to us, too.

Today we need to reflect and see whether we are fully ready and willing to accept the full Truth of the Gospel no matter what the consequences are. May God give us the wisdom and courage to accept all what He has revealed. May we love Him above all things and accept the TRUTHS He has revealed no matter what the consequences are. Amen.

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