Forced Migration

Greetings on this the Monday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: 2 Kgs 17:5-8, 13-15a, 18; PS 60:3, 4-5, 12-13; Mt 7:1-5
Notes: Ancient scripture has a variety of focal points. There are several ways to encounter the stories of old because they resonate in many different ways.

Today I will focus on forced migration.

Forced migration can come about by war, famine, or greed. Human history is filled with these stories as are the sacred writings. For people of faith we frame the events in the divine-human exchange. While that is good, it is not sufficient and sometimes childish and without good purpose.

  • The Hebrews needed rescue and became wanderers in the desert preferable to the mistreatment of Egypt.
  • Israel suffered their end and a diaspora into Assyria due to military conquest.
  • The people of Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim likewise were forced deported to Samaria as occupiers.

Regarding the Book of Kings: Judah’s kings, on the other hand, follow a cyclic pattern of infidelity followed by reform, with each reformer king (Asa, Joash, Hezekiah, Josiah) greater than the last (NASRE).

BTW: Excellent introduction to the book of Kings (1 and 2)

Knowing all this we would do a very bad disservice to not account for the behaviors of man toward the fellow man. Puppeteering theology (we are merely puppets to the divine consequences of our actions) is woefully inadequate.


  • Cause
  • Consequence
  • Action

are not tightly wrapped concepts.

There are vectors of approach and multiplicity of cause.

But ALL of them are often encountered with judgment and a superior moral and ethical façade. Our gospel pericope today, blasts through our bias and judgement.

Jesus wants us to come to the aid of all without the baggage of judgment, for we too are lamentable in our action and purpose at times.

First reading
They rejected his statutes,
the covenant which he had made with their fathers, and the warnings which he had given them, till, in his great anger against Israel, the LORD put them away out of his sight. Only the tribe of Judah was left.

Responsorial Psalm
Help us with your right hand, O Lord, and answer us.

Alleluia Verse
The word of God is living and effective,
able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.

Gospel Portion
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Stop judging, that you may not be judged.
For as you judge, so will you be judged,
and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.
Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?
How can you say to your brother,
‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye?
You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

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