Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved." (Matthew 10:17-22)
Strange reading the day after Christ was born! Our Church wasted no time in alerting Jesus’ followers to the perils of following him. In those early days, Jews who considered Jesus the Messiah – the Christ – where in contrast to Jews who felt the Messiah had yet to come. This friction led to strife between and within families. This helps explain the Gospel passage. These Christ-believing Jews eventually were expelled from the synagogue – an event or process best described in the Gospel according to John written years after Mark, Matthew, and Luke.
We’re in the Christmas season lasting to January 8 – a point made clear by Father Healey in his Christmas Eve homily. Accordingly, let’s keep working and living together fostered by the spirit of Christmas with its focus on hope, peace, joy and love.
Let’s continue to respect other faiths to smother the flames of hatred caused by differences and intolerance that lead to “scourging,” and far worse.
Deacon David Pierce