Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Unless Your Faith is Firm

Memorial of St. Bonaventure

By Beth DeCristofaro

Thus says the LORD:  This shall not stand, it shall not be!  ….  But within sixty years and five, Ephraim shall be crushed, no longer a nation.  Unless your faith is firm you shall not be firm! (Isaiah 7: 7,9)

(Jesus said) But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. …  For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom,  it would have remained until this day.  But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on thday of judgment than for you.  (Matthew 11:22,23-24)

Blessed is that servant, whom his lord finds awake when he comes and knocks at the gate. (Communion Antiphon for the Mass of the day)

Raised in the D.C. area, I lived in a rather safe neighborhood, certainly not with enemy armies marching toward my community   We were taught to anticipate then avoid dangerous situations and what behaviors might be chancy.  I walked often to my favoritelibrary to lay reading in the stacks for hours but always left before dark usually walking with a friend or at least boldly striding as if I had a friend with me.  My parents and teachers also emphasized that God’s protection was a reality.  To my simple understanding, my guardian angel and God were there for the immediate rescue if need be while Isaiah asserts the Lord’s time is within sixty years.

Woe to you! proclaims both the prophet and Jesus to those who strike out on their own making deals with the enemy rather than relying on God.  I wonder if Jesus would say the same to the USA which has chosen guns for self-protection and individual rights over the safety of our children.  Arguments include “Bad guys have guns so should we for oursecurity”.  Jesus admonished those who might harm children that they would be punished.  Might I have been hurt during my childhood?  Yes.  Might any one of usindividually or as a nation face hurt, tragedy, failure?  Yes.  May we defend ourselves?  Yes.  However, Jesus tells us to do everything with love.   

Seize the day and look closely at how you might be complicit in the gun violence racking our country.  Do you vote for leaders who prioritize the right to gun ownership over the need to keep our children and neighbors safe from gun violence?  Does self-protection trump faith in the Lord who will keep us from all ultimate harm?  Is there a letter you can write to a politician or a group you might join today to speak out about the need to cease violence before we too, like the “house of DavidChorizior Bethsaida hear God’s voice saying “Woe to you!”

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