The image above is an icon painted in the Visoki Dečani Monastery icon painting studio, where icons are made in accordance with the old Serbian-Byzantine school. The icon boards are made from ash tree wood which is prepared in a special process to be painted on. The icons are gilded using 24 carat gold leaf. Gilding can be done either with water gilding (giving a shiny appearance) or adhesive gilding (a matte appearance). The paints used are made according to a traditional technique of mixing natural earth pigments together with an egg yolk binder. Icons are protected with water varnish. A certificate of origin sticker is placed on the reverse side of the icon. The Visoki Dečani Monastery was built by the Serbian King - St. Stefan of Dečani in 1335. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Dečani possesses a unique church constructed in a mixture of Romanic, Gothic and Byzantine styles, with more than 1000 preserved original frescoes.
Monday, July 13th in Ordinary Time
A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good; for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks. (cf. Lk 6:45)
LISTEN: I have come to bring not peace but the sword.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 10:34-11:1
Jesus said to his Apostles: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s enemies will be those of his household.
“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
“Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever receives a righteous man because he is righteous will receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because he is a disciple—amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward.”
When Jesus finished giving these commands to his Twelve disciples, he went away from that place to teach and to preach in their towns.
The Gospel of the Lord
I did not come to bring peace, but a sword
Although swords are most commonly associated with warfare, they were also used in other contexts … So why is Jesus mentioning a sword? ….
Any followers of Jesus should of course be peacemakers and evangelise without using any violence. However, response to the Good News will be mixed: some will listen and accept the message; others will reject it. Because of this, families will be divided or friends might end up in conflict. Thus, in Luke’s Gospel passage today, Jesus is referring to the sword in terms of division, not in terms of violence. When a sword cuts something, it divides; it splits things in two parts…: those who follow Christ and those who don’t want to… Our Gospel reading today is a call to follow Christ regardless of any negative fallout we may encounter.
Used with the author's permission, and adapted from, a Gospel reflection, "I did not come to bring peace, but a sword" Gospel of 13th Jul 2020, by Patrick van der Vorst, https://www.christianart.today/todays-reading.php
Be not afraid! And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always. Holy Family pray for us. Amen.