Monday, September 11, 2017

“Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.”

“...the opposite of love is not hate -- it's apathy. It's not giving a damn. If somebody hates me, they must "feel" something ... or they couldn't possibly hate. Therefore, there's some way in which I can get to them.” ― Felice Leonardo "Leo" Buscaglia PhD: (1924 – 1998: was an American author and motivational speaker, and a professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Southern California)

Gospel Text: (LK 6:6-11)
On a certain sabbath Jesus went into the synagogue and taught,
and there was a man there whose right hand was withered.
The scribes and the Pharisees watched him closely
to see if he would cure on the sabbath
so that they might discover a reason to accuse him.
But he realized their intentions
and said to the man with the withered hand,
"Come up and stand before us."
And he rose and stood there.
Then Jesus said to them,
"I ask you, is it lawful to do good on the sabbath
rather than to do evil,
to save life rather than to destroy it?"
Looking around at them all, he then said to him,
"Stretch out your hand."
He did so and his hand was restored.
But they became enraged
and discussed together what they might do to Jesus.

We might want to reflect at today's Mass on our nation commemorating the anniversary of terrorist attacks against our country. It's astonishing that religion was a driving force in the hearts of those who committed mass murder. We ask ourselves how the murder of innocent people could be carried out in the name of God. It seems like religion turned completely inside out.

This seems to be what Jesus faced in today's Gospel (and many other occasions during his earthly life, leading to the Cross). Jesus heals the man with the withered hand, and the response of the Scribes and Pharisees is to become enraged: they discussed together what they might do to Jesus.
And so we see a similarity between Jesus' day, and our day: a similarity between the world of Jesus, and the world in which we live. The world in which we live today may be much larger than Jesus' world: there may be more countries, and more peoples, who have to speak with each other, and work to get along. But there are today people, just as in Jesus' day, who return evil for good, whose actions make no sense. The question we have to ask is: how did Jesus respond to those who hated Him, and nailed Him to the Cross? Can we be like our Lord Jesus, even in a situation like this?

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