Comply or Else?

Greetings on this the Tuesday of the Second Week of Easter
Readings: Acts 4:32-37; PS 93:1ab, 1cd-2, 5; Jn 3:7b-15

Note: Current events are sometimes a central concern and the gospel message is brought to bear to the situation. The police altercation with Caron Nazario, a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, in the the town of Windsor, VA is one such situation.

First Reading Members Comply

In today’s first reading Joseph, also known as Barnabas, sells a piece of property and gives it to the disciples for use by the Church to help the people.

Just like the other day scripture asked you to consider the stories of Simon the Magician in comparison to Philip and the Ethiopian and their readiness for Baptism.

Today scripture asks you to compare Barnabas and his gift with the ‘gifts’ of Ananias and Sapphira and their commitment to the faith (the very next story).

One can imagine some basic questions for the member.

  • What am I doing?
  • Why am I doing it?
  • What are my motives?
  • Should I comply?

Discernment is a critical component to justice as every situation is unique. Also, every attempt at justice is identical as it is intended to bring about a lasting effect.

As you might imagine there are many components to justice. We cannot cover all of them here. But there is a call to action to know justice beyond sentimentality.

Gospel Reading Leadership to Comply

The seven principles of Catholic Social Teaching (CST) apply to this event.

Summary: https://www.usccb.org/resources/themes-catholic-social-teaching

Every institution is measured by whether it threatens or enhances the life and dignity of the human person.

One can imagine some basic questions for the leadership.

  • What are we doing?
  • Why are we doing it?
  • What are our motives?
  • Should we conform compliance to CST?

In today’s gospel portion, Nicodemus is called to task for not understanding the deeper meanings of religion and faith. Being lifted up and being born again are intimately connected by Jesus so Nicodemus can understand the connection and live the connection.

Leadership requires sacrifice by the leader not the member, first and foremost.
Then you are truly free to ask something more of others.

Sign of the Times

It should be clear by the civil unrest resulting from this encounter and others like it that the people are rejecting the idea that police have near unlimited right to subordinate and subject citizens to whatever compliance satisfies them in the moment.

The age of instant and immediate compliance to police orders in every and any instance is over. The people have spoken. Policing has become domination and subjugation. It must reverse course before we lose all respect for the institution.

At the same time leadership is considering allowing citizens the right to hidden carry of firearms. We have a regulatory monster that is in contradiction to itself.

The people understand CST better than the leadership.

You, the leadership, have lost your mind and you follow the poor example.

The terrorist, Saul of Tarsus, went about arresting and torturing anyone and everyone who did not comply to his ‘lawful orders’. Yet the people knew better and went with the name and the path.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

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