Monday, November 14, 2011

Determined and Resolved

November 14, 2011

Monday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time

But many in Israel were determined and resolved in their hearts not to eat anything unclean; they preferred to die rather than to be defiled with unclean food or to profane the holy covenant; and they did die. Terrible affliction was upon Israel. 1 Maccabees 1:62-64

Jesus of Nazareth is passing by. [The blind beggar] shouted, "Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!" The people walking in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent, but he kept calling out all the more, "Son of David, have pity on me!" Luke 18:37-39


Give me life, O Lord, and I will do your commands. (Psalm 119)


Last week, in our readings from Sacred Scripture, Jesus lamented that he could not find anyone with faith in all of Israel. Today, he accidentally comes upon such a man. Jesus cures him but not out of the pity he implores. Jesus cures him because of his faith.

Time after time, Jesus comes upon people who are not willing to be silent because of their faith. The Roman centurion. This blind beggar. The woman bleeding. They are often surrounded by people who do not want to upset the status quo. But they will not be stopped.

Even today, as Jesus passes by, the people beg the beggar to be silent and not disturb Jesus. The blind man will not be silent. Like those from Israel in our first reading who will not blindly follow the decrees of the King, they refuse to be defiled by the compromises of the government.


Over the past week, we have seen far too many stories of failure of leadership to follow moral examples. Governments in Greece and Italy finally biting the proverbial bullet and making austerity moves that earlier leaders failed to take. Executives at the Japanese company Olympus who hid billions of dollars in trading losses. Leaders at MF Global who used client money to cover bad investments. A coach and university president at a major university who did not do enough to protect abused children.

We have choices like the blind beggar, the graduate assistant/coach, the Roman centurion and others. Will we be silent or will we acknowledge that our life springs from the gifts we are granted from the Lord and repay Him in kind with our piety, study and action? Will be as determined and resolved as needed in face of compromises to a consistent ethic of life?