Greetings on this the Memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus, bishops
Readings: 2 Tm 1:1-8; PS 96:1-2a, 2b-3, 7-8a, 10; Mk 3:31-35
Clearing the Conscience
In our first reading today, Paul speaks about his clear conscience.
Naturally, we are happy for him. Yet we cannot forget what it took to get him from breathing murderous threats and executions to a man with a clear conscience.
He had to take on his own rigidity of understanding Jewish law, his zealous, myopic view of what faith and religion consists of and his willingness to perpetuate violence on others.
I read a lot of far right Catholic blogs and sites. I am shattered by their willingness to foment violence both physical and spiritual upon anyone who deviates from their specific understanding of Church teaching. There isn’t even room for a change in strategy when clearly the ‘Law First’ approach is failing to move the country toward reversing the Culture of Death. In fact in some ways it is perpetuating the Culture of Death witnessed by the reflex responses the ‘left’ are conducting.
It is a failed strategy.
Some even refuse to read encyclicals of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI or Pope Francis nor engage any of the books they write. How can it be that to say you are a faithful Catholic but discount the leadership of the seat of Peter?
Return to your sincere faith. Even if you think you are right bear your share of hardship for the Gospel with the strength that comes from God.
Pope Francis proposes using a Contrapostioning concept, open sincere dialog to allow space for the Holy Spirit to bring forth a gushing of insight and pathways to the Culture of Life.
Civil war and strife within the Church is not a pathway to the Culture of Life.
- Sing to the LORD a new song – you have grown stale in your praise of the Lord.
- Announce his salvation, day after day.
- God proposes we govern the peoples with equity.
Who are my mother and my brothers?
Here are my mother and my brothers.
For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.
It isn’t what you are doing.
Jewish Talmud – Learning to Change
Borrowing from the Jewish Learning center…
The Talmud records the voices of those who were on the margins of Jewish life during the late Second Temple and post-Temple periods — those who were both critiquing a Judaism that was failing and creating one that would work better. To do so, they invented and put into practice a system of mechanisms, principles, and rules-of-change that would guide them and future generations in the project of upgrading the tradition according to their new insights and lived experiences, one which might better serve the world of the future.
To paraphrase the philosopher Moshe Halbertal, the Talmud is not a normative document, but a formative document. It is designed not to tell us what our behavioral norms should be, but rather to form us into a certain kind of human being.
The core innovation that made this new system possible was the concept of svara — moral intuition. The sages of the Talmud named svara a source of Jewish law equal to the Torah in its power to overturn any aspect of the received tradition that violated their moral intuition or that caused harm that they could no longer justify, rationalize, or tolerate — even if it was written in black-and-white in the Torah itself.
Peace be with you,