Gospel Reflection Monday 15th Week of Ordinary Time (17 July) – Not peace but a sword
Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Matthew (10: 34 – 11:1) in which Jesus says, ‘Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. It is not peace I came to bring, but a sword’. Fr Paul says, at the end of this collection of sayings of Jesus about the mission of the Christian apostolate (the going out and the doing), Matthew puts before us a whole series of daunting challenges. This group of sayings in the Gospel is a series of challenges that should make us think long and hard before becoming Christian because by becoming Christians we are taking on a share in Christ’s own task of spreading the Good News. The challenge is great and the reward is certain. Fr Paul notes we hear in this Gospel three sayings about the absolute priority of Christ’s claims; It is over the closest family ties, over life and over the very possession of one’s own self. Then comes four teachings about the rewards to those who welcome Christ’s messengers. The person, the disciple who is being sent shares equal status with the person who sends them: Christ’s messenger is as Christ, Christ is as the Father. Then we hear in detail the reward for the welcome of a prophet, of any upright person, and finally of the Christian in need. Fr Paul says, as our day continues, we might reflect on these words of the Gospel and how they apply to our own lives.