“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.’”(Matthew 10:34-36)
As I read this scripture passage and prepare to write my reflection, I am struck by the words about setting a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. My father-in-law has been in the hospital for the past month, and my mother-in-law has been living with us so she can be close to the hospital. It was a little unnerving to read these words. Is this just coincidental or what?
This scripture passage is a reminder that relationships are not always easy. Unfortunately, try as we might, sometimes we find ourselves divided, even in our families. Although I’ve always had a good relationship with my in-laws, having my mother-in-law live with us is something new. My husband and his siblings are trying to figure out what’s best for their parents in the days of recovery ahead. These situations are new and out of the norm for all of us.
Times like these can spark emotions and are not always peaceful — just like the scripture talks about. Jesus reminds us that relationships take work. Peace and harmony are not always a given — even amongst the best of friends and family. We come from different backgrounds and have differing points of view.
Today, may we be mindful of our differences with family, friends, supervisors, coworkers, patients and others and recognize that it might take a little bit of work and time before we find peace and harmony. And that’s okay.