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.” (Mt 10:34-36)
Jesus preached a radical kind of discipleship. He knew that if someone accepted His teaching, that might set that person apart and against family or friends.
You would not think that could happen; but, it did. And it still does.
I often think of the Civil War when I read this Gospel. Families were divided amongst themselves depending upon whether they pledged allegiance to the North or the South. Some families were totally destroyed because of their allegiances. Some family members went so far as to kill each other in the war.
As with the Civil War, in accepting the faith, some people set themselves against family for good.
Today is the memorial of Kateri Tekakwitha. She was a Native American who became an enemy to her people when she became a Christian. She was ostracized and forced to slave labor. She accepted all the ills heaped against her and continued to live her faith with great courage.
She fasted often for the conversion of her people.
When she died, her face, weathered by years of near-famine in her fasting as well as pocked by smallpox that she had when she was a little girl, changed and became like that of a baby.
Kateri once said, “I am not my own; I have given myself to Jesus. He must be my only love. With the work of my hands I shall always earn what is necessary and what is left over I’ll give to my relatives and to the poor. If I should become sick and unable to work, then I shall be like the Lord on the cross. He will have mercy on me and help me, I am sure.”
FAITH ACTION: As you pray today, give yourself to the Lord with complete trust and confidence in Him.