Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s foes will be members of one’s own 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 the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.
Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.
Now when Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and proclaim his message in their cities.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
We hear troubling words today from Jesus who we believe challenges us to be the couriers of peace and the foes of all that is violent. So what is Jesus saying to his apostles and to all of us when he states that “I have come to bring not peace, but the sword?”
The world Jesus entered was one of sinful conflict and evil that continues to the present day. Do we recognize similar divisions that still exist in our world? our country? our cities? our homes? our hearts? Salvation is ours because a loving, forgiving God sent his Son to carry the cross upon which he was crucified.
We may never be asked to accept martyrdom, but are we willing to live and preach TRUTH to all whose lives we touch daily – family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and, indeed, to those who are always in our midst – the homeless, immigrants, members of other races, religions, political parties?
Are we peacemakers or sword-bearers?
—Sr. Ann Romayne Fallon, O.P. is an Adrian Dominican sister with notable experience in high school and diocesan administration. Currently she provides pastoral ministry to the Dominican community in Adrian MI.
Lord God, you called the virgin Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, to shine among the American Indian people as an example of innocence of life. Through her intercession, may all peoples of every tribe, tongue and nation, having been gathered into your Church, proclaim your greatness in one song of praise. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen—Collect of the Mass in honor of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha from the Roman Missal Please share the Good Word with your friends!