16 Jul

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.

“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me,
and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;
and whoever does not take up his cross
and follow after me is not worthy of me.
Whoever finds his life will lose it,
and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.  (Mt 10:34-39)

It is not that Jesus came to divide.  That could be the quick interpretation of what this Gospel says.

Rather, Jesus was a realist.

He knew that some would accept His message while others would reject it.

Moreover, He knew that those who accepted and rejected His message would be in the same household or the same circle of friends.  Those who accepted His message would change their lives.  Those who rejected His message would want to remain the same and would despise those who changed.

When one person changes, the whole dynamic of a family or a group changes.

We do not like change.

Change means letting go of things, of being a different person, of doing things another way.

We like predictability, even if it is painful.

Jesus calls us to embrace His will and, in doing so, to change.

If we do, there is a good chance that someone in our family or among our friends will not.

Are we ready for that friction?

FAITH ACTION:  There are many times that we become upset because a family member or friend is not at the same point as we are in terms of the faith.  Sometimes, that leads to great tension and, perhaps, even to separation.  Pray, today, for healing of wounds among family and friends.