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. Oct 2021 .
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Doctrines & Morals

Not peace at any price

Ex. 1:8-14.22, Mt. 10:34-11:1. Difficult times are part of life, especially the life of those who are God's chosen people. The Book of Exodus lead up to the appearance of God on Mount Sinai, followed by the guidelines for keeping the covenant (Ex. 20-23) and its solemn ratification (Ex 24). Fidelity to God will be Israel’s way to stay at peace with God and with each other. Today's first reading tells us of how a new king who “did not know Joseph” came to power in Egypt. Though, there was a heroic refusal of Pharaoh’s orders by the Hebrew midwives, Shiphrah and Puah, who spare the lives of the boys. Their bravery surely deserves a mention, since it ensured the ultimate survival of the Hebrews. However, the native Egyptian dynasty finally drove out the old and hated Asiatic dynasty from Egypt and in the backlash of fear and hatred towards all Asiatics, the Israelites were reduced to slave labour. God’s people were oppressed because of racial bias and nationalistic envy.

In today's Gospel, Jesus speaks of how the sword of division is raised for freedom and by family dispute when the Gospel value is no longer upheld by those who were to continue His work in the world. We are reminded, implicitly by Exodus and explicitly in the Gospel, that following the will of God can be hard, even at times disruptive of peace. Jesus paradoxically states: “I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.” By the "sword" Jesus refers to suffering and conflict that can arise in the course of our lives, which is the means of dividing and separating the people of Christ from the men of the world. Disagreements about religion can stir trouble in families. What the Lord gives is not “peace at any price”, but a special kind of peace that comes from staying close to Jesus. If there is discord within our family, it is because Christians have refused to compromise the Gospel value not that it was the intention and design of Christ, in coming into the world, to foment and encourage conflict. We are called to be sincere, not authoritarian. Basically, Jesus wants us to be welcoming people, thankful for what others may offer us. Even such a simple gift as a cup of cold water will be noted to one’s credit, in the book of life.

May the Lord stay with us and with everyone we meet and bring joy and peace to the world! Amen!! Good morning, have a fruitful week!!!

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