Today’s Thoughts: “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?” As I read this sentence from the Gospel (Luke 9:51-56) today I thought of the situation in our country, in our world with so much hate and violence. I wish we could call down fire to consume it and start all over again and I am thinking Jesus might give the request just a little more thought this time! But in the end, we would get what the disciples got a rebuke.
Jesus never confronted violence with violence, for him there was always another way, a better way. It isn’t always the easy way but in the end, it is better than violence, anger, negativity and abuse of power. It is the way that will invite, welcome and make God present to the people around us and to the world. Are there risks to Jesus’ way? Absolutely! But the risks are worth it.
Jesus shows us in the Gospel today that meeting rejection with rejection, or hate with hate, or violence with violence is not the way. When we are treated poorly, when we are disappointed, when we are attacked, violence, anger, hate is not the way forward. Jesus’ suggestion is to take a deep breath, and then take our next step in faith. This is the way all disciple can complete their journey of faith.
In living life this way, we can give meaning to the words we find in first reading for today from Zechariah (Zechariah 8:20-23). If we live as people of faith, then others will grab hold of us and say, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.” Isn’t this Pope Francis’ message on how to be a Christian, a person of faith? It is our action, our treatment of others. It is our making God present so others can see and experience God that will change the world.
But Jesus couldn’t you make just one exception and call down fire to consume all who preach hate and violence! Just a thought but a better one would be from St. Thérèse of Lisieux who would say that our loyalties should always lie in the message of Faith and peace!
Have a great Tuesday everyone.
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Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...