Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Ruffling American political correctness: Daily Mass Homily--Monday, July 13th, 2015
(Listen to this homily here).
The teaching of Jesus this morning flies in the face of American political correctness: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth.
I have come to bring not peace but the sword.”
There is a current in our society that thinks, “If we all set aside our differences, we could just get along.” This is not only naïve, but foolish! Today the greatest proof against such a worldview—ISIS. In pockets of the Middle East, believing differently could cost your head!
You see, this peace-at-all-costs mindset comes from the philosophy of relativism—believing that you have your truth, and I have my truth, and as long as we don’t get in the way of each other, we can all live happily ever after. The problem is, not everyone shares this worldview! In fact, such a position cannot account for someone who believes differently—after all, what is true for you is true for you! In this regard, we Catholics find a middle ground between a naïve “let’s all just get along” attitude and extremist terrorism.
One other point—the sword. One interpretation comes from a comparison in Hebrews—the Word of God is a sword. The Word of God cuts—sets apart. It draws a line in the sand for those who believe in Jesus as “the way, the truth and the life” and those who do not. Thus, “I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s enemies will be those of his household.” Jesus is saying he must come first. We must cross that line and put Christ before even those we love.
Passages like this one may be easy to skip because they are completely counter-cultural. But remember—this is Jesus who is speaking! Jesus, the way, truth and a life. Let’s be on his side today.