Saturday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 394

He will not contend or cry out,
nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break,
a smoldering wick he will not quench,
until he brings justice to victory.
And in his name the Gentiles will hope.

I am not a great fan of science fiction or fantasy movies but occasionally, as I work out at the club or visit a patient's room, I see an action sequence of one of these films. The other day, for instance, there was a group of good guys -- they weren't wearing white hats but I could tell -- running from zombies. I'd know a zombie anywhere. 

Anyway when the zombies caught up with our good guys, the latter would pull out a pistol and shoot the bad guys, who, although they were already dead, would die again. I guess because they were shot. Or something. 

So why would a gun kill a zombie? I wondered. But that's why I don't watch movies like that. I am willing to suspend plausibility only so far. 

The reason I mention this is I notice on television how often justice or goodness or the American Way is reinforced and reestablished by a gun. Or something like a gun, a ray gun for instance. Although light sabers are pretty cool, they're not as effective as good old fashioned guns. According to our entertainment industry, even in the 95th century the good guys will still be using guns to protect the American way. 

Does anyone sense a problem here?

The Taliban used a gun on Malala Yousafza. They shot her in the head. But she didn't die. I guess she's not a zombie. She is a real woman who believes that Pakistani women and girls should be educated and take their place in a free economy. Guns can't stop the women from getting education. You'd think the Taliban know that. But guns won't stop the Taliban either. We should know that. Doesn't our Bible tell us that? 

When Jesus came he didn't have a gun. Nor did he have a sword, spear or chariot. He had no siege equipment and, being a carpenter, might not have known how to sling rocks. He had only words.
He saved the world without weapons. Imagine that. 

People tell me that guns protect freedom, justice and America. I don't believe it. I think God protects America; or he will anyway, if we ask Him to, and stop believing in guns.

2 Chronicles 20, which we read in the Office of Readings yesterday, tells a wonderful story about how God protected Jerusalem when they trusted him. 

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I love to write. This blog helps me to meditate on the Word of God, and I hope to make some contribution to our contemplations of God's Mighty Works.

Ordinarily, I write these reflections two or three weeks in advance of their publication. I do not intend to comment on current events.

I understand many people prefer gender-neutral references to "God." I don't disagree with them but find that language impersonal, unappealing and tasteless. When I refer to "God" I think of the One whom Jesus called "Abba" and "Father", and I would not attempt to improve on Jesus' language.

You're welcome to add a thought or raise a question.