Not peace but the sword

Published July 12, 2021, 12:12 AM

by Manila Bulletin


After the time of Joseph, the king of Egypt, who probably belongs to another dynasty, grows suspicious of the allegiance of the Israelites and oppresses them with hard labor (Ex 1:11). The Israelites who have grown numerous in time of peace now experience the might of Pharaoh’s sword. Jesus also speaks of the sword in the Gospel. It is the sword that discriminates, that divides even members of the family. The other side of the “sweet Jesus” is Jesus who “[sets his] face like flint” (Is 50:7), one who is disciplined and not moved from a conviction. This is because the Word of God, like a double-edged sword, cuts to the core of one’s being and exposes it to the eyes of God. Jesus gives comfort to the sick, the sinners, the downtrodden, but he also sets his face against the hypocrisy and lack of mercy of his detractors. Like the prophets of old, he disturbs those who are comfortable in their misguided convictions.

GOSPEL • MATTHEW 10:34—11:1

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.

“Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever receives a righteous man because he is righteous will receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because he is a disciple — amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward.”

1When Jesus finished giving these commands to his Twelve disciples, he went away from that place to teach and to preach in their towns.

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2021,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: