Je­sus: A cause of di­vi­sion

Tempo - - Editorial -

Gospel Read­ing: Mt 10:34 – 11:1 J ESUS 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-in­law 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 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 award. 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.”

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

RE­FLEC­TION I have come to set a man against his Fa­ther. Je­sus seems to con­tra­dict his own teach­ings. It is so hard to keep a lov­ing re­la­tion­ship with one’s par­ents. Peo­ple of­ten have prob­lems with their par­ents and, as a re­sult, hate any­one in au­thor­ity.

Again let us not mis­in­ter­pret Je­sus. He is only de­mand­ing the dis­ci­ples’ to­tal com­mit­ment if they want to fol­low him. He is on a jour­ney, and if they wish to join him, they must be pre­pared to se­vere even their le­git­i­mate re­la­tion­ships. Once they fol­low him, there is no turn­ing back. They must not be dis­tracted by fam­ily con­cerns; other­wise, they will fail as his fol­low­ers. Je­sus de­mands full-time dis­ci­ples.

To meet Je­sus’ ex­pec­ta­tions, the dis­ci­ples should be sin­gle hearted. Je­sus is thus bru­tally frank with those who pro­pose to fol­low him. They should have strong de­ter­mi­na­tion so as not to fall away eas­ily.

Not only re­la­tion­ships but also one’s life should be given up. The dis­ci­ples must fight against the in­stinct of self­p­reser­va­tion.

To those who take up these chal­lenges, Je­sus prom­ises a re­ward. They will re­cover what they have lost. The peo­ple who will treat them kindly will be re­warded.

*** SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 8957328; E-mail: pub­lish­ing@stpauls.ph; Web­site: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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