Friday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
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Jesus said to his disciples: “If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.
Strong words. Tough actions. Deep meanings.
Brazil and the World Cup. That’s why I was a bit surprised when my thoughts immediately turned to Brazil, the World Cup, the thousands of workers protesting and striking, and the hundreds of thousands of fans suffering. How horrible. How regrettable. How disgusting! How does this relate to today’s Gospel passage?
It’s clear the protestors and strikers are taking advantage of all the spectators (most of them poor people) who are traveling great distances (and at great cost) to enjoy the World Cup, a once-every-four-year event. I find this simply appalling. They should have done this four years ago. Not now. This is entirely selfish and wrong. Now I’m not saying these poor workers don’t have a case. They do. But they should not be infuriating guests from all over the world. This is wrong.
Even if our own life is miserable, why do we love to make other people’s lives miserable? What is it about us that makes us like that? Why is it that if I am upset, then I need to make everyone around me upset? I know. Original sin.
Christ did not suffer so that we could learn how to make other people suffer. No! On the contrary, He suffered so that we could learn how to suffer patiently, lovingly, compassionately and mercifully.
Which brought me to my next thought.
Iraq and the Islamists. Almost immediately my thoughts went from Brazil to Iraq, and to the Islamists and the four thousand American soldiers who died there in vain(?).
Well, from all the news services, it appears as though Iraq is lost, lost to Islamist fighters, who have already begun to persecute Christians, enforce Sharia and behead their enemies and leave their heads on street corners. Of course, these terrorists are not aware of Christ’s words (let alone the meaning of His words), but I find it amazing how Christ’s words for today relate to current events! After all, how can some people think to behead others in the name of God if they themselves are full of sin?
If you notice, Christ only told his followers to cut their own appendages (if it causes them to sin); not those of others. What a difference in style and substance!
I don’t hear it anymore, but once upon a time there were some folks who would often say that there was no “real” difference between the major religions. Clearly, they did not know what they were talking about.
Lets keep in our prayers the poor people in Iraq, especially the Christians who have no protection against the on-going genocide. (0)