Monday in the Fifteenth Week of Ordinary Time

Some of the sayings of Jesus in Matthew’s gospel are hard to understand as in today’s gospel: “I have not come to bring peace but the sword.” Yet, in John’s gospel Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you” (Jn 14:27).    

How can we reconcile these seemingly contradictory positions?  First, Christ tells us that his peace is not as the world gives (Jn 14:27). His peace is interior, in our hearts, not exterior, in the circumstances of our lives, because his kingdom is within us, (Lk 17:21). In this world we will have tribulation because it has hated us, for we are not of the world.

Second, the full realization of his peace belongs to the future as St. Peter tells us, “Rejoice in so far as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed” (1 Peter 4:12). 

Our lives as Christians are based on what is interior, our present possession of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, and what is future, the coming of the Kingdom of God in eternal life.