The WORD in Other Words by Fr Rodrigo Salac SVD (Philippines)
Monday Week 15 Ordinary Time, Ex 1:8-14, 22, Mt 10:34-11:1
Jesus did not bring peace but the sword. This is a metaphor of division. Of course, Jesus’ message was of peace but when his listeners decided to follow him it caused discord, first among the Jews: the followers of Jesus against the Jewish authorities. When the apostles started proclaiming the gospel to the Gentiles, there was again discord: Jewish Christians against Gentile Christians on the issues about 1) Circumcision, 2) Eating of meat offered to idols, eating of meat of strangled animals, eating of meat mixed with blood, and 3) sexual morality (Acts 15).
Martin Luther‘s 95 theses ignited the Protestant Reformation. King Henry VIII of England initiated the English Reformation by divorcing his wife Catherine of Aragon to marry Anne Boleyn which Pope Clement VII did not approve. King Henry VIII disobeyed the pope, consequently, the Pope excommunicated him, hence the separation. The two reformations were only the beginning. The division within the Protestant church goes on. There are discords also in the Catholic Church. Could Jesus be blamed for preempting this division?
I don‘t think so. I go with what St. Bonaventure did during his time. “At the age of 35 he was chosen General of his Order and restored a perfect calm where peace had been disturbed by internal dissensions” (Book of Saints, pp. 150—151).
Making a decision is essential to being human. Without exercising this ability, life can be meaningless. When people make critical and good decisions and other people‘s lives are affected negatively, opposition is inevitable. Worry not! The path of reconciliation is always open. Blessed are the peacemakers, they shall be called sons of God (Mt 5:19).