Matthew 10:34 is a direct quote from the Creator and Savior of the universe:
“Nolite arbitrari quia pacem venerim mittere in terram: non veni pacem mittere, sed gladium”
“Do not think that I came to send peace upon earth: I came not to send peace, but the sword”
But but but… isn’t Jesus the Prince of Peace? I thought Jesus was all butterflies and unicorns. So groovy. He came to send the sword upon the earth? How can that be?
The broader context of the tenth chapter of Matthew is the initial commissioning of the apostles. Not the Great Commission, mind you, but rather the initial commissioning to evangelize only the lost sheep of Israel. The first fifteen verses lay out how He wants them to go about it. Then comes the warning about how they should expect to be treated by their own people while on this mission:
“Behold I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves. Be ye therefore wise as serpents and simple as doves. But beware of men. For they will deliver you up in councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues. And you shall be brought before governors, and before kings for my sake, for a testimony to them and to the Gentiles…The brother also shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the son: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and shall put them to death. And you shall be hated by all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved.” Matt 10:16-18, 21-22
Read it again, and realize He is not only speaking to the apostles, but to all of us. As the exponential descent of the West hurtles toward oblivion, you better start preparing yourself for what is coming very, very soon. It might be a muslim horde, it might be your “democratically elected” abusers of power, it might even be…the Church. Whatever, the message to all who confess Christ is that we should EXPECT and EMBRACE our material, physical, temporal suffering at the hands of men. It will be torturous, humiliating, and very public. His Passion is our model.
But then He offers hope:
“It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebub, how much more them of his household? Therefore fear them not. For nothing is covered that shall not be revealed: nor hid, that shall not be known. That which I tell you in the dark, speak ye in the light: and that which you hear in the ear, preach ye upon the housetops. And fear ye not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matt 10:25-28
The disciples should expect to be treated as the Pharisees treated Jesus, like when they accused Him of being possessed by Beelzebub (Mt 9:34, 12:24; Mk 3:22; Lk 11:15). But they should fear not, so long as they remain focused on the spiritual and not the material. You too will be accused of being evil, precisely because you are proclaiming the Truth. The secular world will accuse you of bigotry, ‘hate speech’, discrimination, judgmentalism and hypocrisy. The faithful will be murdered and imprisoned. Keep your gaze fixed upon your spiritual goal, and fear only “him that can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Then we get to the meaning of this blog.
“Every one therefore that shall confess me before men, I will also confess him before my Father who is in heaven. But he that shall deny me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in heaven. Do not think that I came to send peace upon earth: I came not to send peace, but the sword. For I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s enemies shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not up his cross, and followeth me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for me, shall find it.” Matt 10:32-39
Does any of this describe anything going on in your life right now? Because, if not, you’re doing it wrong. If your testimony is limited to unoffensive doctrine, that’s not the preaching from the housetops He was talking about. If the extent of your mission consists of one hour on Sunday, you are not worthy of Him. If you are a priest afraid to make people uncomfortable, you are not worthy of Him. If you are too polite to offer charitable correction to father, mother, son or daughter, THEN YOU LOVE THEM MORE THAN HIM AND YOU ARE NOT WORTHY OF HIM. The Word of God will always and everywhere divide men against themselves, including within families. Everyone chooses a side.
This doesn’t mean God wanted it this way. There is a footnote in the Douay-Rheims referencing the passage from verse 35:
 I came to set a man at variance: Not that this was the end or design of the coming of our Saviour; but that his coming and his doctrine would have this effect, by reason of the obstinate resistance that many would make, and of their persecuting all such as should adhere to him.
It’s not the Will of God to bring division, destruction, and death. Rather, it is the will of him who can destroy both soul and body. Lucifer’s “non serviam” caused the first great divide, and subsequently the Fall and the concupiscent wretchedness of sinful man. The divisions are the result of the free will of men, who repeat the non serviam with their thoughts and deeds, with which God does not interfere. Seeking to avoid division means leaving souls to die.
We make our own choices, and those choices determine where we spend eternity. Make a choice to stand for the Truth. Your soul depends on it, and you might save a few more along the way.