Thinking things through Monday, 15th week in ordinary time- Mt 10:34-11:1

Human brain and colorful question mark draw on blackboard

Thinking things through Monday, 15th week in ordinary time- Mt 10:34-11:1

If Jesus was a salesman in the modern world, He would have surely lost His job. The art of waxing eloquent was certainly not his forte.  One would have thought that Jesus would have at least made the mission discourse exciting, an adventure filled trip to lure more people to the cause. Instead He promised a hard trek down some dusty roads. The challenges He presented would effectively drive away any prospective disciple.

Just when it sounds like it can’t get any worse, Jesus drops another bombshell. He says He has not come to bring peace to the earth but the sword. Rather strange words from the very one who came to be the ‘Prince of peace’ and who called peacemakers, blessed.

Lest we misunderstand the Lord, His intention is not to bring about bloodshed. The regrettable side effect of the Gospel is division, resulting from the uncompromising proclamation of the kingdom. The mission discourse clearly outlines the great challenges that the disciple must face in taking the Good News to the world along with the side effects it brings.  For Jesus, this is moment when decisions have to be made. We are with Him in mission or we are not.

Perhaps we have misunderstood the call to discipleship and understood it glibly. The very word disciple is drawn from the Greek word mathētḗs, from where we get the word math.  So, discipleship is the mental effort needed to think something through.  This is why Jesus will say, “If you wish to be my disciple.” He wants us to think it through before we say yes to mission, for the challenges are not easy.

Matthew’s community well understood the demands of discipleship and mission. They lived through persecution; the cross was every before them. It seemed like every day that they were denounced by father and mother and found their foe to be members of their own household. 

So then that brings us to the million dollar question as the mission discourse draws to a close; what’s in it for me? There is no talk of a diadem and a palace for those that serve Him. There is however a promise of a disciples reward proportionate to the act of love that we show to others; to a prophet, a righteous person or a ‘little one’.

Fr Warner D’Souza

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