Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fire from Heaven

Yesterday, John had come to Jesus relating how he had tried to muzzle someone who was using the Lord's own name to expel demons when that person wasn't even so much as a disciple. Jesus did not approve. "Whoever is not against us is with us." Today, seeing Jesus refused a welcome by the Samaritans simply on the basis of his destination, the hot-headed "Sons of Thunder" wanted to call down fire from heaven (and presumably watch the conflagration from a safe distance). Jesus simply took another route.
Two weeks ago in the Gospel, we heard Jesus say to "turn the other cheek." Today we see him doing it. Anger is a natural human reaction to rejection; righteous anger is no different--it just adds the spice of self-assurance to what is essentially payback. Jesus brings something new to the human equation. 
Between yesterday's and today's Gospel, we get a very important message for our polarized societies.

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