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 divide (διχάσαι, to divide in two) a man against/regarding his father (κατὰ τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ), and a daughter against/regarding her mother, and a daughter-in-law against/regarding her mother-in-law; and one’s foes (ἐχθροὶ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) are those of one’s own household (οἱ οἰκιακοὶ αὐτοῦ). He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me…” (Mt 10: 34-37)

What “sword” does Christ bring between us and those of our own “house”? Himself. In faith, I learn that no relationship with another human being is healthy, when it’s just the two of us, without God between us, and without an inspired awareness of us both inhabiting God’s “house,” under His house-rules and guidance. My Lord reminds me of this in no uncertain terms, calling all inhabitants of my “own” house (i.e., a “house” run God-lessly by me alone) my “foes” or “enemies.” If I am living and loving in a house like that, isolated from God, then I do not have true unity with others, the kind of unity God wants for us, in Him; then others in my house are ultimately my enemies, as I am theirs.

Today let me open the windows of my “house” and let some fresh air in, of God’s grace-filled Presence, lest self-reliance and self-centeredness make “enemies” of everyone in my life, making me fight useless battles against everyone in my life, including myself. “Let us commend ourselves and one another and all our lives to Christ our God.” To You, O Lord!

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