Tuesday, July 16, 2013

If Everyone Sees the Image of God in Others

If Everyone Sees the Image of God in Others

Tuesday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
By Beth DeCristofaro

Looking about and seeing no one, (Moses) slew the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.  The next day he went out again, and now two Hebrews were fighting!  So he asked the culprit, “Why are you striking your fellow Hebrew?” But the culprit replied, “Who has appointed you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?” (Exodus 2:12-14)

Jesus began to reproach the towns where most of his mighty deeds had been done, since they had not repented. (Matthew 11:20)


Let us not use bombs and guns to overcome the world. Let us use love and compassion. Peace begins with a smile. Let us radiate the peace of God and so light His light and extinguish in the world and in the hearts of all men, all hatred and love for power.
Today, if we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other – that man, that woman, that child is my brother or my sister. If everyone could see the image of God in his neighbor, do you think we would still need tanks and generals?
Peace and war begin at home. If we truly want peace in the world, let us begin by loving one another in our own families. If we want to spread joy, we need for every family to have joy.      Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta


Recently I attended the ordination of a Baptist colleague.  The African-American Church was rockin’!  And even so the choir apologized for their lack due to so many members on vacation.  My friend gave a stirring witness about his call to ministry.

Another clergyman got up to share a prayer which also rocked me.  He said that the Trayvon Martin case weighed heavily on his heart as it has on so many hearts around the country.  To the audibly proclaimed “Amens” and “Yes’s”, this man said that he was trying to wait patiently for God to answer his prayers.  He said “No matter where any of us stand on the issue, what will happen will be God’s answer.  May we accept and rejoice that God has heard our prayers.”

Today’s readings show us consequences to our actions.  We see the oppressor, Pharoh’s own daughter, saving and raising a Hebrew baby in spite of her father’s orders to kill all Hebrew boy babies.  We see that same baby as a man, one of our ancestors in faith, kill in the name of a good to save a slave.  But later he witnesses Hebrews using his action to justify their violence.  Jesus rebukes the towns which chose evil even after witnessed his preaching and his miracles.

We know that God’s mercy forgave Moses who rose to save the Hebrews from Egypt.  We know that time and again people such as Lot and Abraham asked for God’s clemency and it was granted.  But we also know that in choosing against God there are consequences.


A man chose and a teenager is dead.  A man chose and he is a pariah himself.  A man chose and a family lost a child.  A man chose and a country is again faced with the consequences of violence and inequity.  Would Jesus rebuke us for our choices?  Are we building the kingdom of God through our choices or are we building other kingdoms - for security, individual rights, ideology…  What and Who do I choose in my actions and my words every day?

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