top of page
  • Writer's pictureImmersed in Christ

The Divisiveness of All-Embracing Love

Monday, July 17, 2023

by Fr. David M. Knight

View readings for 15th Mondayof Ordinary Time (A1): LECTIONARY 389 (Ex 1: 8-14, 22; Ps 124: 1-3, 4-6, 7-8; Mt 10: 34 to 11: 1) The Responsorial (Psalm 124) calls us to believe, in spite of all appearances: “Our help is in the name of the Lord. In Exodus 1: 8-22 the descendants of Israel (Jacob) are given reason to doubt God’s care for them. “Joseph died, and all his brothers, and that whole generation…. Now a new king, who knew nothing of Joseph, came to power in Egypt.” And this king, noticing “how numerous and powerful the Israelite people are growing,” adopted a policy of semi-genocide, killing all male babies and reducing the Jews’ life “to cruel slavery.” How much faith did it take for the Israelites to proclaim then, “Our help is in the name of the Lord”? With hindsight, the rest of the Psalm justifies this faith: “If it had not been the LORD who was on our side… when our enemies attacked... they would have swallowed us up alive.” God doesn’t prevent sins that cause us suffering; but he guarantees a happy outcome. He overcomes both sin and sin’s consequences, even death. Although we may not see it, or recognize it when it is happening, the truth is, “Our help is in the name of the Lord. In Matthew 10:34 to 11:1 Jesus tells those who minister in his name to expect persecution. We know that God’s “plan for the fullness of time” is to unify the human race in Christ: to “gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” God has “put all things under Christ’s feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” In the Eucharistic Prayer we proclaim: “From age to age you gather a people to yourself.” The work of Christian ministry is unity and peace “in Christ.” (Ephesians 1: 9-23; John 12:32; E.P. III.) But Jesus tells his disciples, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth…. I have come to set a [son and daughter against father and mother]… one's foes will be members of one's own household.” Jesus doesn’t really divide people, but people divide themselves in response to him, because the true message of Jesus is not acceptable to all. So sometimes division is the sign that Jesus is truly acting in and through an authentic minister. Our focus, however, must always be unity. Sometimes this is precisely what causes division. If we minister equally to those who stand on their goodness and those who are not in good standing, to those of every race, social class, sexual orientation, and denominational affiliation, we may find there is nothing more divisive than all-embracing love. But we trust “in the name of the Lord. In the Eucharistic Prayer, after the first Epiclesis that “calls down” the Holy Spirit to change the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, there is a second Epiclesis asking that the Church might be “brought together in unity by the Holy Spirit.” From then on, the Eucharistic Prayer focuses on unity until it ends, proclaiming “honor and glory” to the Father “in the unity of the Holy Spirit.”

Initiative: Be a priest. Unify through love, especially when truth arouses division.

Reflections brought to you by the Immersed in Christ Ministry

47 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page