Monday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Book pf Exodus 1:8-14, 22, Psalm 124:1-3, 4-6, 7-8, & Matthew 10:34-11
In today’s Gospel narrative, we hear the conclusion of a powerful sermon known as the missionary discourse. Jesus is speaking to those who will continue His work in the world. We are reminded that following the Will of God can be hard, and at times, disruptive of a peaceful life. Our Lord tells the disciples that the peace they had anticipated the Messiah would bring is not to be. He explains this by saying, “I have come to bring not peace but the sword.” We are also told that not only will we pitted against one another, but our enemies will be those in our own home and within our own family. At this point, can you imagine the looks on His listener’s faces?
Jesus refers to the suffering and conflict that can arise in the course of our lives. We may remember Simeon’s 'blessing' and the words to Mary as she held the infant Jesus in her arms, “This child is destined to be the downfall and the rise of many in Israel, a sign that will be opposed” (Luke 2:34). The sword of division is raised for freedom in the Book of Exodus and by family disputes according to Jesus’ words. The Israelites were reduced to slave labor in Egypt and oppressed because of racial bias and nationalistic envy. God used His servant Moses to help set them free.
We can all agree that disagreements about religion can stir trouble in families. What the Lord gives is not peace at any price, but a special kind of peace that comes from staying close to Jesus. If there is discord within our family, let it be for the sake of personal conscience and not from any outside source that would fracture a family’s love for each other. Basically, Jesus wants us to be welcoming people, thankful for what others may offer us. Even a simple gift of cold water on a warm summer’s day is noted to one’s credit in the Book of Life.
Question of the Day: Today, will you make an act of self-denial and offer it for someone in need of a peaceful heart?
Prayer: “Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.”