Mt 22:1-14 Binding their Hands and Feet

Thursday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time
(Click here for readings)

Jesus again in reply spoke to the chief priests and the elders of the people in parables saying, “The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son.  He dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests…  Some ignored the invitation and went away…The rest laid hold of his servants, mistreated them, and killed them.”

James Foley.  On Tuesday, August 19th, 2014, the Roman Catholic photojournalist James Foley was savagely executed by Islamic State barbarians.  He was only forty-years-old.  His parents, both devout Roman Catholics, paid tribute to her son.

“We thank Jim for all the joy he gave us.  He was an extraordinary son, brother, journalist and person… “We have never been prouder of our son Jim. He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people… 

“We implore the kidnappers to spare the lives of the remaining hostages. Like Jim, they are innocents. They have no control over American government policy in Iraq, Syria or anywhere in the world.”     

The Foleys’ pastor, Father Paul Gousse, was at the family’s house the evening of the 19th.  He left without speaking to reporters.  The parish posted a notice that the church would be open to all who wished to pray for Jim, his family, friends and colleagues.
This wasn’t James’ first run in with militants.  Back in 2011, he and two other reporters were kidnapped in Libya.  After his release, he wrote an article for Marquette magazine on how prayer, especially the rosary, got him through his captivity. 

“It was what my mother and grandmother would have prayed. I said 10 Hail Marys between each Our Father. It took a long time, almost an hour to count 100 Hail Marys off on my knuckles. And it helped to keep my mind focused,” he wrote. “Clare [another reporter kidnapped] and I prayed together out loud. It felt energizing to speak our weaknesses and hopes together, as if in a conversation with God, rather than silently and alone.”

Foley was educated and trained at Marquette University, a Jesuit school.  He said Marquette “has always been a friend to me. The kind who challenges you to do more and be better and ultimately shapes who you become.”

A few decades ago, it was popular for people to say something along the lines like “all religions are the same.”  Not only is this as ridiculous and practically useless as saying all armies are alike or all people are alike, but it discloses ignorance.  All religions are as much alike as all fingerprints and DNA, enough alike to be able to identify one from the other.

Let’s keep James, his family, and all hostages in the hands of terrorists in our prayers.  These innocent men and women will need them, for ISIS is an organization that has little to no regard for human life, especially non-Sunni Muslim life.


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Fr. Alfonse (1014 Posts)

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