Is Christ a Divisive God?

The Gospel points us to two forms of peace: that of the world and that of Christ. Which one will I follow?

Gaudium Press English Edition

Newsdesk (25/05/2022 9:45 AM, Gaudium Press) Such are the riches present in the Holy Gospels, from the narration of Jesus’ great deeds and miracles to the description of his simplest gestures, that we have the ability to go through the pages narrated by the evangelists, extracting from them ever new teachings. However, there are passages that for many may sound like something that disturbs the ears, because they seem difficult to understand. Among these are the words of our Lord:

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to separate the son from his father, and the daughter from her mother, and the daughter-in-law from her mother-in-law” (Mt 10:34-35).

How can a God made of all Mercy and Kindness speak such harsh words? Wouldn’t it be better if He said: “I have come into the world to bring peace and tranquility to men. There will be no more wars, misunderstandings and disagreements. Peace will reign forever!”

What, then, does peace mean?

I have not come to bring peace, but…

The Gospel for this 6th Sunday of Easter brings us up two images of peace: one, preached by the world; and the other, the peace of the righteous.

Jesus says: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you” (Jn 14:27).

Isn’t this a contradiction? Before, Jesus had stated that “He did not come to bring peace on earth,” and now He asserts that He will bring it? Yet He continues:

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“But I do not give it as the world gives it” (Jn 14:27)

Therefore, there is an essential difference between the peace that the world preaches and the peace announced by the Saviour. The world, with its illusions and fantasies, presents it wrapped in a supposed tranquility, but which is filled with the disorder of sin and all sorts of horrors. Now, peace is “the tranquility of order” [1] – according to St. Augustine. What order? The order of a society that lives oriented toward God.

The world, with its dictates, keeps man in a regime that gives him the impression that everything will turn out well; in the end, we will be successful in life, if we live according to the customs and doctrines preached by it (the world).

History, however, shows us that the world does not bring the much-vaunted peace. We need only look at the current world situation: wars, crimes, and economic disasters that will certainly bring, as a consequence, a really disastrous food shortage. May God grant that we are in tune with the present reality, when we analyze the current situation and see that the world will not bring the “tranquility” that it promises.

The fruit of an even greater disorder is found within souls when we are faced with death. The prospect of a future life makes one’s conscience heavy in the face of the vices and sins of old, which in turn points to the fact that one went through an entire existence looking for a “peace” that did not bring joy, but frustration…

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This highlights that the fruits of the most precious Blood of the Divine Redeemer, out of human malice, were rejected by these poor creatures, since they chose to embrace the false joys of this world.

On the contrary, the righteous one who guides his life according to God’s commandments will be able to hear the gentle words of Jesus:

“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come and make Our abode in him” (Jn 14:23).

This is peace and truth (the true order), the cause of division between the good and the bad. Between the two, their lives differ enormously in meaning: one, desires God’s glory; the other, his own wicked and vile pleasure. Here is the explanation of the words of the Divine Master who says: “I have come to bring the sword, division”. The peace of Christ divides, for it is not conformed to the world.

The world will only have peace when it knows how to recognize God as the ultimate end of lives. This, then, will be the time to sing with the psalmist:

“Let the nations glorify you, O Lord, let all the nations glorify you!” (Ps 66:4).

By Guilherme Motta

[1]Pax omnium rerum, tranquilitas ordinis — peace is the tranquility of order”. (Cf. SANTO AGOSTINHO. De Civitate Dei. L.XIX, c.13, n.1. In: Obras. Madrid: BAC, 1958, v.XVI-XVII, p. 1398).

Photo: Sergio Hollmann

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