Monday, September 30, 2013
This is so unlike the typical assumption (which we see in John: "We saw someone casting out demons in your name and we tried to stop him because his is not one of us") that anyone not in our in-group is an outsider at best--but more likely an enemy. Sad but true, I often find a variant of this attitude in myself. It can happen that when some "other" Catholic media enterprise achieves a goal my community has been struggling, perhaps for years, to reach, I may feel more regret (over our failure) than Pauline joy ("that Christ is being proclaimed").
Today's first reading, in its own way, speaks to that incipient depression, offering a vision of a restored and flourishing Jerusalem--an impossibility in the eyes of the prophet's audience, for sure. Because, in the end, isn't the polarizing "us or them" mentality a sign of a fundamental lack of hope? The kind of insecurity that is constantly taking stock of resources, operating on calculations rather than relationships? Francis, like Jesus, challenges that defensive posture--even though it makes his would-be handlers very nervous.
What would be different in your way of reading the news if you were convinced that "whoever is not against you is for you"?
Posted by Sr Anne Flanagan at 11:02 AM