Homily for Monday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time

Our Gospel passage today completes a major sermon — the Missionary Discourse — spoken by Jesus to those who would continue His work. We are reminded by today’s Scriptures that following the will of God can be tough, and even disruptive of peace. Jesus even says, “I have come not to bring peace, but the sword.”[1]

In saying this, Jesus refers to the suffering and conflict that can occur in the course of our lives. We may remember Simeon’s “blessing” and words to Mary as she held the infant Jesus in her arms: “This child is destined to be the fall and the rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted.”[2] And there are many documented incidents in which God’s people were oppressed because of racial bias and nationalistic envy.

Much like politics, 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 conflict within our family, let it be for the sake of personal conscience, and not from any dominating or judgmental spirit. We are called to be sincere, not authoritarian. Basically, Jesus wants us to be welcoming people, thankful for what others may offer us. Even such a simple gift as a cup of cold water will be noted to one’s credit, in the book of life.+

 

[1] Matthew 10:34

[2] Luke 2:34

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