I am not a big fan of violent imagery. I went to see the movie Taken this past Saturday. From approximately 5 minutes after the film began and for the next ninety minutes, there was non-stop action and violence: death, maiming, fighting, shooting, car chases, and more death. I walked out of the movie kind of exhausted. The deaths were portrayed in a fairly casual manner and I could not help but wonder if all these images of violence and death have inured us to the finality of death, the sadness of death, the hurt that goes along with death.
I couldn't help but this of this movie as I read our Gospel passage today with Jesus using the metaphors of removing hands and feet and eyes if they are causing us to stumble or are causing someone else to stumble. Those metaphors make me cringe. Perhaps that is part of Jesus' purpose in saying them: to make us cringe, to make us pause, think, take notice. Is there a way to take these violent metaphors, of cutting off hands and feet and carving out eyes, and making us utilize these metaphors in evaluating our actions with others and with ourselves? What can we change about our actions that is negatively impacting others as well as ourselves?
Copyright 2009, John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.