Perverting Power

Greetings on this the Wednesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: 1 Sm 17:32-33, 37, 40-51; PS 144:1b, 2, 9-10; Mk 3:1-6
Notes: This post was inspired by Father James Martin, S.J. on the approach of the beatification of Fr. Rutilio Grande, SJ, and his friends, Manuel Solórzano y Nelson Rutilio Lemus. Paintings by the artist @Peter_Bridgman.

Rutilio Grande García was a Jesuit priest in El Salvador. He was assassinated in 1977, along with two other Salvadorans. He was the first priest assassinated before the civil war started and a close friend of Archbishop Óscar Arnulfo Romero.Wikipedia

On February 13, 1977, Father Grande said mass in honor of a Colombian priest who had been recently arrested in El Salvador and deported without charges. In his sermon, he declared: “I’m quite aware that very soon the Bible and the Gospel won’t be allowed to cross our borders…because all the pages are subversive. And I think that if Jesus himself came across the border at Chalatengo, they wouldn’t let him in…without any doubt, they would crucify him again.”

In today’s gospel portion Jesus does the unthinkable to heal on the Sabbath. Actually, it is not unthinkable at all. But in hate they frame the healing as unthinkable so they could accuse him and put Jesus to death.

Moral Issues Framed In Nonsense Leading to the Death of Jesus in this day:

  1. LGBTQ.
  2. Abortion.
  3. BLM.
  4. Voting.
  5. Immigration.

Make up all the nonesense you want but the reality today as then:

  1. We are being manipulated by the rich and powerful to hate and be violent against the poor and dispossessed.
  2. We have manufactured for yourself reasons to slay people.
  3. But is merely to maintain power.

It was so in Jesus’ time.

It was so in 1977.
It is now.

As to any personal sins attributable to the #1 to #2 above, we have a pastoral approach of Jesus that far exceeds any of the judgmental approaches used today especially since the person matters little but as a tool to project power.

First reading
Have no fear! Like David, in justice, you too can slay the enemy of truth.

Responsorial Psalm
Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!

Alleluia Verse
Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom and cured every disease among the people.

Gospel Portion
Jesus entered the synagogue.
There was a man there who had a withered hand.
They watched Jesus closely
to see if he would cure him on the sabbath so that they might accuse him.
He said to the man with the withered hand, “Come up here before us.”
Then he said to the Pharisees,
“Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?”
But they remained silent.
Looking around at them with anger
and grieved at their hardness of heart,
Jesus said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.”
He stretched it out and his hand was restored.
The Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel
with the Herodians against him to put him to death.

NOTE THIS: If they can manufacture a falsehood from a clearly divine action, how much more so to be able to create a falsehood from less-than-perfect human actions.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

2 thoughts on “Perverting Power

  1. Thank you for continuing to remind us that Jesus’ teachings are more about loving others and less about judging them. Your teaching today reminded me of the scholarly research by Isabel Wilkerson’s book, “Caste”:
    What is caste? According to her, “caste is the granting or withholding of respect, status, honor, attention, privileges, resources, benefit of the doubt, and human kindness to someone on the basis of their perceived rank or standing in the hierarchy.” Racism and casteism do overlap, she writes, noting that “what some people call racism could be seen as merely one manifestation of the degree to which we have internalized the larger American caste system.” NPR August 10, 2020

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Barry, so much for elevating the dialog to greater and further insights! This is a very important comment and reference book.

      Can I push you to go further?

      When I was ordained a asked a trusted priest for a list of 10 books he thought would be beneficial for me to read as part of my continued growth. I will post that email to the blog. So, my friend…

      AND what about a carve out on the blog for your ideas and experience? I know you are busy but even a Whitman Sampler is a great gift to the world.


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