The peace rejected by Our Lord is that which is established when souls are united in sin, by the complicity that leads the wicked to protect one another and to live in apparent concord, in a false harmony based on evil.
Newsroom (23/05/2023 22:12, Gaudium Press) From the first sin committed by Adam and Eve until the Incarnation, there existed a predominant force on the face of the earth that we may designate as the pole of evil.
Although the divine promise of the Redemption was in force and the solicitude of the Creator was constantly exercised in favor of the Jews, it is clear that among the other peoples of Antiquity a different view was prevalent. For them evil reigned in all environments, and there was no means for the good to carry out relevant works in order to destroy the empire of the devil.
On the basis of that pseudo-harmony produced by sin – a deceptively perfect unity – the infernal powers established the cohesion of evil.
Now, the coming of Christ has kindled the fire of divine love on earth and inaugurated the pole of good, with extraordinary force of expansion. As Fr Manuel de Tuya observes: “This fire that he is spreading on earth will demand that we take sides with him. It will set many on fire, and for this reason He brings ‘division’, not as an objective, but as a consequence.” A radical separation becomes inevitable, for those who adhere to the good restrict the action of those who opt for evil and impede their progress, thus opening a chasm that distances them.
“Do you think that I have come to bring peace on Earth? On the contrary, I tell you, I have come to bring division” (Lk 12:51). We are faced with one of the most incisive statements made by the Master in the entire Gospel: “I have not come to bring peace”. How is it that the “Prince of Peace” prophesied by Isaiah (9,5), He who, when invoking the presence of the Holy Spirit, will say “Peace be with you” (Jn 20,19), preaches that he has not come to bring it? This verse perplexes Cartesian spirits.
The explanation, however, is simple and profound: his peace does not coincide with that which is understood on the basis of distorted concepts: “I do not give it to you as the world gives it” (Jn 14:27). The peace rejected by Our Lord is that which is established when souls are united in sin, by the complicity that leads the wicked to protect one another and to live in apparent concord, in a false harmony based on evil.
The division inaugurated by Jesus is embodied in an uncompromising censure of this posture of complicity in evil, made above all by the upright conduct of virtuous souls and by the current of good they arouse. In founding the immortal Church, Our Lord gave to goodness a divine force capable of unmasking the error of those who embrace sin, of showing how hideous it is and of resisting its dominion.
Virtue and goodness, until the coming of Christ, were of limited reach. He came to give them omnipotence and make them the decisive factor in history. The separation between good and evil has become a much sharper reality than it was before, with a peculiar characteristic: the good, when they are upright, always emerges victorious.
CLÁ DIAS, EP, João Scognamiglio. The purifying fire! In: O inédito sobre os Evangelhos. Città del Vaticano-São Paulo: LEV; Lumen Sapientiæ, 2012, v.VI, p.292-295
Compiled by Camille Mittermeier