Father Rick’s Two Minute Homily for 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time,
February 19, 2023
Mark 5:38-48 https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/021923.cfm
Offer No Resistance! Really?
Thinking about enemies reminds me of Bishop Don Samuel Ruiz of the Diocese of San Cristobal de las Casas in Southern Mexico. He was known and loved for empowering the indigenous people in this diocese. He was not so much love for acting as a mediator between the Mexican government and the Zapatista rebels.
He was interviewed a few years before his death by a Dominican sister, Barbara Reid. During the interview, she asked him how he had come to live so wholly the command to love one’s enemies when he had so many. He gave her a puzzled look and responded, “I have no enemies.”
It was to be Sister Barbara’s turn to be puzzled as he had arrived for the interview in a bulletproof van, accompanied by three large, armed bodyguards supplied by the Mexican government, at their insistence.
The Bishop explained further, “There are some who want to make themselves enemies to me, but I have no enemies.” We need this grace in our cities today, as there are reports of shootings of multiple innocent people in our streets every day.
Bishop Ruiz offered no resistance to those who hated him. It humbles me, and maybe you when I think how often and easy it is to retaliate. Sometimes the words are out of our mouths before we know it.
There has to be a better way to end the circle of violence. We see that better way on the Cross of our Savior. Something changes in our hearts when we think our sins put us there.
Jesus pleaded with His Father in that moment of torment, “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing.” Well, maybe before retaliating, we come to our senses and acknowledge we know what we are doing.
The cycle of violence stops here, in our hearts, and we pray with Bishop Ruiz, “I have no enemies. I am tired of being ugly to people. Lord Jesus, I am going to give mercy a chance.”
IGNITE THE FIRE
Fr. Rick Pilger, IC |