Ordinary Time Week 15: Monday
— Memorial of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha —

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword.” (Matthew 10:34)

In an ancient work known as the Incomplete Work on Matthew, an anonymous Ancient Christian Writer (ACW) offers the following insight on this verse from today’s Gospel:

“There is a good peace and there is an evil peace. There is a good peace among good, faithful and just people. For faith is born through the word of God, but it is preserved through peace and nourished by love, as the apostle says: “It is faith which works through love.”

But faith devoid of love can produce none of the fruit of good works. And so if the faithful should be separated by any disagreement, that is an evil conflict, as the Lord has said: “No house divided against itself will stand.” And if the brotherhood is divided, it will consume itself, as the apostle has said: “But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another.”

On the other hand, there is an evil peace among unbelievers and iniquitous people. Among them is a single sinfulness, and so there is a common agreement to sin. For unbelief and iniquity are born through the encouragement of a demon, but they are preserved through peace. And so if at any time the unfaithful and iniquitous are divided against each other, that is a good conflict. For when there is peace among good people, faith and justice are established, but unbelief and injustice lie dormant. But when conflict arrives, faith and justice sink down while unbelief and injustice rise up anew. In the same way, when there is peace among iniquitous people, injustice and unbelief are established but faith and justice lie dormant. And when harmony arrives, unbelief and injustice sink down while faith and justice rise up. In this way then God brought a good disunity to the earth in order to break an evil unity.

All people used to be together as if they lived in a single house of disbelief—all people, the good and the evil together, for some were in evil because they pursued evil, and others remained in evil out of ignorance of the good. But God brought a sword of disunity among them, which was the word of truth. Concerning this, the apostle says, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Incomplete Work on Matthew, «Homily 26»)

Sanctoral Collect
O God,
Who desired the Virgin Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha
to flower among Native Americans
in a life of innocence,
grant, through her intercession,
that when all are gathered into your Church
from every nation, tribe and tongue,
they may magnify you
in a single canticle of praise.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen