Monday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
IN Jesus address to his disciples he gives some harsh words. It is stunning in its conflict and reads more of a battle cry than pastoral address from the good Shepard, prince of peace.”Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword.” Was he proposing violence? Was he suggesting war? Did he really want to tear apart families?In a sense yes, he did ! Jesus addresses his Apostles to march out into the world with the same fervor and complete focus that solders do when entering a battlefield. Jesus looks for a complete commitment, not a casual encounter. He looks for a radical change, not a minor adaptation to current situations. He seeks total victory, not a mediated compromise.The Apostles were going out into a battlefield of sorts, in spreading the word they were not always going to be met with favor. They would gain allies, their numbers would increase, they would advance. They also would face rejection, animosity, retaliation,imprisonment and even death. Was Jesus preparing them for entering onto a battlefield, was he preparing them for war?Yes, he was:A battle to spread the Word, to bring healing,to gather the lost sheep, and to gain dominion over evil. It is a battle and the Apostles did fight it. They did gain allies, they did make advance; they also endured many hardships and suffered martyrdom in their “battle for the Kingdom of God” in the name of Jesus the Christ… .. .