Jesus continues talking to those folks who were waiting for him to come down from the mountain. He begins today's Gospel selection with the phrase "I say to you that listen....." I wonder how well we do listen to these teachings from Jesus.
We are just a little over two weeks out from the death of al-Queda's leader, Osama bin Laden. I commented on this blog the day after that event, and I am still, after regular reflection and prayer, conflicted about this country's actions. Our Gospel passage for today certainly adds to that feeling of conflict, for Jesus could not be clearer: love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also...... How do we reconcile the killing of another human being, an enemy, someone who abhorred us, and these words from Jesus?
I am unsure how to look at these words as metaphor, or as allegory. I am certain that we, as a country, had to do something to lesson the threat that this man, and his organization, pose(d) to us. I am becoming more certain that I stand condemned because of that certainty. For Jesus says: Do not judge, and you will not be judged, do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven......for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.
There's more work to do.
Copyright 2011, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.
Art: Purple Cross, 2006, jfd+