22 June 2021

What does the sword bring?

Ss. John Fisher & Thomas More

Fr. Philip Neri Powell OP

St. Dominic Priory, NOLA

Does following Christ bring us peace or conflict? Unity or division? The answer is: Yes. We see a faction in the Church urging us to unity and peace. Don't cause waves. Just be polite and get along. Emphasize mercy. And another faction demanding confrontation and division. Enforce church discipline. Punish the spineless clergy. Emphasize the reality of sin. Which side is Christ on? Again, the answer is: Yes. Jesus warns the disciples, I have come to bring not peace but the sword.” He also prays that we may be one as he is one with the Father. Following Christ entails separating ourselves from the world. Not abandoning the world but refusing to allow it to form who we are. Following Christ also entails uniting ourselves to one another in the pursuit of holiness in the Spirit. If being polite and getting along were sufficient, we wouldn't have martyrs. If emphasizing sin and enforcing discipline were sufficient, we wouldn't be free. Christ's sword is meant to cut us away from loves that do not begin with him. Loving him first divides us from the world. Loving him first unites us to one another.   

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