Mt 10:34-11:1 Getting Things Straight
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.”
I know what you are thinking: “Boy father…I must be holy. I am definitely against my mother-in-law. All day long I’m arguing with my daughter. I must be doing something right!”
Not exactly. Am I arguing with my family for God’s glory or am I arguing with my family out of pride? Am I suffering because of my sins or am I suffering because of my Lord? The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life. The first is fruitless; the second is very fruitful.
The Lord invites division not to confuse or harm us, but to heal us. He takes the pieces of the puzzle we hastily put together and separates them and rearranges them in their proper places. The Lord’s sword is his hand that re-places things poorly placed.
The Great Commandment. The Lord has a way with words. He loves to say the same things over and over again but in new and exciting ways. Is this not our challenge? Do we not face a communication problem with the Good News? The Good News is sometimes shocking but always surprising!
Christ says, “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me.” Really??? Isn’t that a bit selfish or egotistical? Yes, if you ignore everything the Lord says and does! This saying may be shocking but it isn’t any more surprising than God calling us “friends”.
If God comes first, everything else will follow. If we love God our Father, then we will learn to love our father. If I show affection and devotion to Our Lady, then I will be able to show affection and devotion to any lady. If I respect the Lord my brother, then I will respect all my siblings. Our day has significance only if it is one step closer to our glory. The enormity of my sins can be measured only by the scandal of His Cross. All things may be connected to each other, but if they are not connected to God, then all things fall apart.
When I love God above all things, it ensures that I will love the things of God, and that will help me to grow in my love. For example, sex is good, but love is even better. Living together with the person you love is good, but making a promise to them (marriage) is much better. God said “It was good” when he created the animals. But he said “it was very good” when he created man. To live like a human is good. To live like a Saint is better.
Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. I have always had a hard time understanding the first part of this paradox. How does someone find their life and lose it? Was the Lord referring to the rock stars or movie stars who “find” or “realize” themselves at the tender age of sixteen and lose it all (or desperately try to maintain it through performances in Las Vegas) by the age of fifty? It may very well be. Or was the Lord referring to those who hold on for dear life and have a hard time letting go for heaven’s sake? Maybe.
We should not hesitate in giving our Lord His just place, for we shall receive our just reward. Jesus said to his Apostles: “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.” Perfect plan. Perfect design. Perfect order.
Life is all about putting things in their proper place and getting things straight. Let’s do some life cleaning.