Sunday, March 18, 2012

Bullets and Broadway: 5th Sunday of Lent (B)

Today's Readings and Gospel

What we did seemed innocent, oddly enough.  My young friends, a couple married 7 years and I were strolling back to the parish after a special treat on a Sunday.  A bite to eat in between Masses.

On the ground it stood before us.  A single bullet near the driveway of a fast food restaurant on the very block where our Parish campus resides.
I suppose we could think externally in our spiritual way and say that this is just an indication of a crucified world.  I suppose fear could enter into our hearts at the unique localness of this bullet in our personal world.  You know the old adage "not on my street" and such...

We could be correct to do so.

However, we would be wrong to localize this tragedy.  It is easy to imagine that late last night someone also had a bite to eat and threw the bullet out of the window of the car for whatever reason.

Ultimately our conscience informs us this is wrong.    In NY state it is never legal For a "civilian" to carry a firearm in a car.   this event seems to point to a larger, more "global" crisis.

Why would you need a gun to get a burger?
Because we are out socializing with "friends" (Whom we Love...than why endanger them?)

Are we protecting ourselves from our enemies?
Who? (we are supposed to love them too, says the Christ).

I do not pretend to have the answers except this...

Now let us speculate why.
Why would the Son of God have to die like this....
Why would the creator of the world give himself up to his "enemies" like this...
What would be the reason that would be a scandal to his own people, the Jews and foolish to the rest of the civilized world (the Greeks and Romans, the powers of the day) as Saint Paul informs us.

Jesus, the Son of God submits to his crucifixion for us.  You and me.  And the man or woman who dropped the bullet.  And the beautiful children who sat in the sanctuary today listening to me try to teach them about love and right and wrong inspired by the Holy Spirit.

We can suppose one bullet dropped and picked up (I have taken it safely away to be properly disposed of) is one bullet less that could hurt someone.

Deep down where truth resides we know that it is not just those who die at gunpoint, but especially those who feel the need to carry these things that are the instruments of destruction.

Jesus Christ taught us that He is the Way and the Truth and the Life. When will we learn?

...Miserere mei Domine

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