Saturday, February 23, 2019

Bless Those Who Curse You

Last Sunday, Deacon Daryce and Deacon Miguel led us in reciting the Litany in the Wake of a Mass Shooting to commemorate the victims of the 38 mass shootings in our nation's recent history, including the one last Friday in Aurora, IL. Many people said what a moving and overwhelming experience it was to bring to mind so much wanton violence within the context of the church's worship.

This week's readings likewise address a variety of human tragedies. The reading from Genesis recounts Joseph and the Israelites' want during a period of famine. The psalm acknowledges human anxiety in the face of wickedness. The epistle reading from 1 Corinthians confronts head-on the reality of physical death and the promise of resurrection. And finally, our Gospel reading from Luke offers encouragement to those who are the victims of persecution and oppression.

In each case, the author tells us not to lose heart; because the moment we give up on hope and goodness, evil wins. The way we vanquish wickedness is by being kind and loving ourselves, by not letting ourselves be corrupted by the influences that destroy God's creation. If we rely on God to sustain and support us in the midst of adversity, if we follow God's guidance for a virtuous life, we will bring more joy, peace, justice, and mercy into the world to defy the evil forces that separate us from God and each other. By being faithful to the teachings of Jesus, we will offering the best, most effective resistance to the powers of darkness.

Abundant blessings,
Fr. Ethan+

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