It doesn’t look good!

13 Aug

(Arising from the readings for the 20th Sunday Cycle C in the Catholic liturgy)

Jesus loved everyone and especially showed kindness to those who were ill or suffered from being different in any way. We must try to be like him – let’s call it universal love – treating every thing and every person in the universe with kindness and care, continually trying to overcome mistakes, mishaps and things that weren’t as they should they be.

I think the same human failing in this affected Jesus. Crowds followed him and were enthusiastic for his message that God loved them and for the healing powers he had. But they were excessively keen for him for the wrong reasons; they saw him as able to free them from the Roman rule they were under and make them a great nation as they imagined they had been. It was this excessive enthusiasm and false kind of love for him that lead to his arrest and eventual execution on the cross.

It seems there is a danger that people may misinterpret what God wants of them? The Jews at the time of Jeremiah thought that God had chosen them and that he meant to see them all right despite threats from neighbouring nations. They had not realised that he wanted them to live as good people respecting others. They hated Jeremiah the prophet who was telling them they would suffer disasters and many of them wanted to be rid of him. Jeremiah was thrown down a well to die.

Not long after the death of Jesus when the early Christians increased in numbers in the Roman Empire, they may well have scorned the pagans who worshipped many gods and held many festivals making various offerings to win their favour. As a consequence like the Jews had suffered from other nations, so the early Christians would be persecuted by the Romans. Luke, in writing his gospel at this time has this in mind when he writes of Jesus predicting the difficulties his followers will have and the troubled times that will come.

We must pause and ask ourselves, are we making mistakes and are those right who foretell the difficulties we are facing on our planet? What should we be doing about it? Love all people – whatever – and care for the environment, cooperating with what God is creating for us

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