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Monday, July 17, 2006

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Isaiah 1:10-17
Psalm 50
Matthew 10:34—11:1

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separation theology

"I have come to set a man at odds with his father, a daughter with her mother." —Matthew 10:35

Jesus bluntly declares: "Do not suppose that My mission on earth is to spread peace. My mission is to spread, not peace, but division" (Mt 10:34).

Jesus is the Prince of Peace (Is 9:5), and in fact He is Peace (Eph 2:14; Mi 5:4). Therefore, His nature is to spread peace. However, original sin has badly warped our human nature. In His mercy, Jesus has come to divide, that is, separate, us from all that opposes His ultimate ministry of peace:

  • He divides us from attitudes, sins, and lifestyles that oppose His justice and peace. If necessary, His ministry of division might include separating Himself from our prayers (see Is 1:15).
  • Separating family members might be necessary for a while. Lasting peace can't be built on a weak foundation (see Mt 7:26-27). Jesus separates us from what is rotten.
  • Daniel separated two people so He could arrive at truth and ultimate peace (Dn 13:51). Likewise, Jesus sometimes separates people to promote the truth (see 1 Cor 11:19).
  • As a parent separates two fighting children, putting them into separate rooms, so Jesus may need to "separate" families in order to mysteriously bring His peace (Mt 10:34).

At the first creation, the Lord "separated" things (Gn 1:4, 7, 14, 18). His separation resulted in a beautiful, new world. So do not fear if you've endured the pain of separation. Jesus is just beginning a new creation greater than you can imagine (Eph 3:20).

Prayer:  Jesus, Prince of Peace, separate me from anything which might separate me from You in this life or in eternity.

Promise:  "He who brings Himself to nought for Me discovers who he is." —Mt 10:39

Praise:  Although it hurt at the time, Carol broke up with her boyfriend, who didn't share her same zeal for the things of God.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 12, 2005

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