Luke 3:10-18 What Should We Do?
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The crowds asked John the Baptist, “What should we do?” He said to them in reply, “Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none.” And whoever has food should do likewise.” Even tax collectors came to be baptized and they said to him, “Teacher, what should we do?” He answered them, “Stop collecting more than what is prescribed.” Soldiers also asked him, “And what is it that we should do?” He told them, “Do not practice extortion, do not falsely accuse anyone, and be satisfied with your wages.”
I am still dealing with anger and grief for the twenty children and six adults that were killed in Connecticut. I still cannot believe that it happened.
This morning I asked myself the same question that our nation is asking: Why would this young man kill so many innocent children and adults? Like you, I’ve been watching the news and wondering what the possible motives behind the massacre were. I don’t buy any of the ones so far mentioned. Socially awkward people have been around for centuries. They don’t go into elementary schools and start killing people. People have had Aspergers disease before and after scientists discovered it. As well, they don’t go around killing people. Some people say that this young man did not feel pain. If that were the case, he would have been dead long ago from some infection.
But one possibility came across my mind this morning. Maybe, just maybe, this young man never learned The Ten Commandments. Maybe he never learned the fourth or fifth commandments: that is, “Honor your mother and father” and “Do not kill”.
I know this may sound a little crazy, but think about it. We’ve done a very good job keeping religion out of the public square. Where would someone today learn about the Fourth and Fifth Commandments? From video games? Never! On the contrary, he may have learned that killing was just a game. So where then? From music? No. From elementary school? No. Middle School? No. High School? No. So where then? Only in his home and at his Church.
Children grow up knowing that it is illegal to kill someone. But that’s different. That’s a law and laws change with time, as we can see in the case of abortion. But there has never been a law that commands a child to honor his mother and father. None whatsoever!
Well, I’m afraid we will never know because I don’t think any of the authorities will ever ask.
This morning, after Mass, someone came up to me and asked me, “Why would God allow something like this to happen?” We should all know the answer to this question. We should all know by now that God does not tie the hands of the wicked. He ties the hands of the just. The Lord did not tie the hands of Pontius Pilate or the Pharisees or scribes. They tied His hands. Yes, the wicked do whatever they please. The just are not allowed to do whatever they please. They can only do what the Lord has commanded them to do. Thou Shalt Not Kill ties our hands. Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness ties our hands.
God allows both, the wicked and the just, to co-exist, for the wicked remind us of who we are without God and the just remind us of who we can be with God.
John the Baptist reminded tax collectors and soldiers of what they must not do. The Lord will forever remind us of what we must do and who we must become.
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