"So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5:48)

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Compelling Jesus

        Today is the Memorial of St. Bonaventure. In the Gospel reading Matthew 10:34 - 11:1, we heard some of the rather "shocking" statements from Jesus to his Apostles. He said, "Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter again her mother.... Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."
         Here Jesus really challenges us. He knew that he had brought the sword because people would be forced to accept or reject him. His statements force us to conclude either he is God or someone who doesn't know what he's talking about ~ there's no third choice possible. And you will not have peace if you choose to ignore him. With Jesus, it has to be all or nothing, take it or leave it. Come to think of it, no one other than the true God can possibly be so compelling.

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