Commentary on the Gospel of
The words of Jesus that Matthew presents in today's reading can hardly be heard as good news, as a gospel. At least, not in human terms. The Lord announces division, persecution, confrontation, blood, discord. And that all will happen against his friends for his cause. It is not exactly the panorama that one would like to find when deciding to follow Christ along the way. However, it is part of the landscape of Christian life.
In the following of Christ, the call is one but multiple. The Lord calls us on the shore of the lake in a bright environment, but he also immediately calls us to go with him to Jerusalem, a twilight of darkness and cross. Perhaps true discipleship consists not so much in that first readiness with which one leaves everything to follow Christ but, in that fidelity, nourished each day until one becomes ready to move from one landscape to the other for love.
That is reason why Jesus insists that his disciple should not be focused on how to avoid the cross or how to defend oneself against those who threaten. The disciple must put all his skills –the cunning of the serpent and the simplicity of the dove– in searching Jesus Christ and, in him, the Father mercy. Only those who look at the crucified Jesus may, if necessary, assume the cross. Only those who listen to the Son entrusting the Father at the cross, will be able to give themselves at the moment of trial with the same Spirit. The Lord will be for them like a leafy cypress giving shade and fruit: the shadow of peace, the fruit of life.