Newsletter 10 September-2017
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When we disagree with people over big or even small things, we want to have nothing to do with them. Family rows over partners, wills, money, or just relations gone cold. Same as with the people of the gospel today- A big disagreement in the community! Have nothing to do with them. Let them be like the tax collector…and they were all delighted to hear Jesus saying that. Red cards for them all. And Jesus seems to agree.
We all have the groups and the people we reject or look down on. Priests, bankers, politicians, or the elderly, the terminally ill, people with lifelong disability. We give the red card to many groups.
But look more deeply…..how did Jesus treat tax collectors and pagans. He went to them. Far side of the lake for the pagans. The loaves and fishes for them as well and he brought them into the community of apostles and friends.
For Jesus nobody is an outsider. The only red card is that of martyrdom. Even if he seems to ‘excommunicate’ people it is because of their lack of openness and tolerance. Other truths take over for him. That we are children of the same God. The whole world. There are no outsiders to God’s love.
Also, we burden ourselves with our prejudices. Revenge is sweet but only for a while. To forgive or even desire to forgive is a freedom. To pray for our enemies is a freedom for ourselves and pleasing to God.
Forgive us Father, as we try to forgive each other.
Donal Neary SJ