The Young Man at the Tomb Holding Fast to Each Other Amen to What We Are The Lord, Our Justice Claiming Our True Name What We Expect The Comma Keeping the Demons Quiet The Dove in the Heavens Thankfulness and Generosity Speaking to Jesus A Promise to Simeon and Us A Sign for You The Voice in the Wilderness How Annunciations Work The Least, the Lost, and the Last Waiting for Christ’s Return Attire for the Kingdom The Cross in a Violent World Come to the Banquet Today Anointing of the Sick Finding the Eternal Change and Continuity Paying Attention The First and the Last Using Bad Consequences How to Talk to God Ready to Forgive Facing the Serpent Priority and Mutuality Three Meals a Day Searching for Pearls The Power of Service Why Walk on Water? The Day Jesus Was Wrong The Promise of the New Name The Two Feet of Love Facing the Hour Looking Backwards Touching the Leper Touching the Leper Misunderstanding God Doing It Poorly God’s Midwife A Name for the Holy Spirit The Coffin So We Do Not Have to Touch Being Better to Each Other Earthquakes and Galilee Lazarus as a Disciple Seeing More Learning from Peter Imitating God’s Holiness Weekly Bulletin 3/2/14 Imitating God’s Holiness Weekly Bulletin 3/9/14 Choosing a Master Goodness in Temptation A Pinch of Salt Teaching the Commandments The Freedom of the Baptist Christ’s Broken Body Faith Is More than Looking The Twelve Days of Christmas God’s Timing Resurrection and Transformation The Good That Is Gone Zacchaeus Moments God in the Smallest Things Trust and Community When God’s Commands Do Not Fit The Faith of Honeybees Choosing Hell Following the Dishonest Steward The Ninety-Nine The Freedom to Let Go Beyond Politics The Balance of Humility Not Fearing Fire The Beauty Remains To Welcome as a Samaritan A Moveable Peace Bring On the Women! The Two Sides of Bread Waiting for the Ticket The Groove of the Spirit Jesus Is Not Like Congress A Divine Partnership What Kind of Love Is This? Boston Bombings and God Fishing and Forgiveness A New Kind of Joy Letting Christ Out The Sign of Inversion Our Doodling God A Parable of Love and Jealousy Not Enough Time The Ordinary and the Transcendent The Battle with the Devil God Is Not Kidding The Power of Love We Are the Body of Christ The Arc of Life Waiting for the Final Gift Displacement at Christmas Incarnating God Presenting the Mess Red Cake and Lima Beans A Call to Serve Beyond Asking Jesus’ Commandment Being Ready to Take God in the Foxhole God Is Still Working Adjusting What Is Necessary Learning from the Prophet Amos About Jesus’ Brothers The Most Popular Miracle The Importance of Hunger Eternal Life Influencing Others Finding the Right Proportion Do What You Love Stopping for the Least To Love Irritating People Marriage, Divorce, and Children Asking for More Drinking the Cup Terror in Paris God Will Come Boundaries, Security, and Generosity Feeling Movements of Life A Place to Learn God Uses Small Things Signs of Life When God Says No Christian Optimism From Transition to Call The Long Struggle The Gate of Heaven Common Sense or Hope The Spoiled Son An Oasis for Everyone Jesus’ Last Meal The Curious Omission Finding a Pony Anointing of the Sick A New Commandment After the Ascension Sin and Love The Cross and Joy The Call to Follow A Call for Humility Violence in America Two Thoughts on Prayer Live Today with Thanksgiving An Examined Life The Narrow Gate Serving Ourselves Losing Sheep Using Dishonest Wealth The Door and the Chasm Faith and Duty Distance and More Not Growing Weary Making a Difference Inadequacies and Grace Finding God Facing Turmoil Jesus, Remember Me The Lion and the Lamb Wild Like John Let Go in Love A Wider Christmas The Last Six Miles God’s Big Plan The Remnant The Salt of the Earth Beyond the Ten Commandments Love Your Enemy Focusing Our Worry How Evil Works Our Transfiguration Re-membering Our Lives Our Story If Only The Time for Hope A Second Greeting of Peace The Eucharist and Welcoming Practicing Non-Violence The Work of Forgiveness Why Are You Looking Up at the Sky? The Mystery of Salvation Being Thankful How Is a Burden Light? The Problem with Sparrows Eternal Creation Patient Vigilance Buried Treasure Thinking Again Where You Do Not Want to Go The Courage to Speak Humility and Truth Do Something Good Knowing the Song Acting Against Evil God Will Come What We Can Say Senseless Violence Invitation as a Threat What Belongs to God Two Commands, Side by Side Burdens We May Not See Foolish or Wise Accepting the Consequences Serving the Least Watching for Jesus Camels and Gnats Becoming Smaller The Christmas Barber The Ring of the Kings The Freedom and Faith of John the Baptist Zebedee The Opioid Crisis Approaching, Grasping, Lifting Up What God Intends The Battle with Satan Following Elijah and Moses Standing in Truth A God of Love or Condemnation When Life Turns Not Fully Prepared The Wounds We Carry Selling Onions Son of Encouragement To Love as God Loves Engagement with the World Doubting Disciples Sabbath Avoiding the Diabolical Persistent Hope Speaking the Word Within Us “And Also With You” Capital Punishment I Will Go On Three Wise Choices Will You Also Leave? Show No Partiality Carrying the Cross for Whom? Outside the Lines The Camel and the Needle Ask First for Sight What God Sees Only God The Arc of the Universe Turmoil, Fear, and Dismay The Gift of the Desert A Punch for the Holidays Politics and Religion Jesus Always Understands One Body God’s Love The Call Blessings and Woes Imitating God’s Mercy The Blind Leading the Blind The Devil’s Agenda Looking Closer, Looking Beyond Accepting God’s Love Mob Thinking The Easter Egg Fishing with Uncle Mike Loving Like Jesus God’s in Love with This World

Violence in America

July 10, 2016 Click on the left end of the black bar to play/pause

July 10, 2016
Luke 10: 25-27
Fr. George Smiga

It has been a bad week. Despite the sincere efforts of many people of good will to build peace and understanding in our country, two black Americans were fatally shot by police—one in Minnesota and one in Louisiana. Then a deranged black sniper killed five white police officers in Dallas. This is not the kind of country we want. We want a country of peace, where our children and our grandchildren can grow without fear, where we can live, and move and express ourselves without danger of harm. But the racism in our country seems to undermine this desire at every turn. Time and time again, we witness people on both sides of the racial divide being struck down by deadly force. There is no simple way to eliminate this scourge of violence that attacks our country. It will take years, perhaps generations, for police officers, the black community, and all of us to find a way to truly live in peace with one another.

But there is one thing that each of us can do today. It may not seem very significant, but it is a beginning. What each of us can do is watch the way we react to racial violence, to track the way our heart moves when we hear of these tragedies among us. For each of our hearts will move either towards judgment or towards compassion. When we move towards judgment we seek to place blame. (And don’t get me wrong. Blame must be placed. People on both sides of the racial divide have to be held accountable for their actions.) But when our focus is only to place blame, that blame hardens us into the groups that racism creates. We say, “Police always overreach in their exercise of power.” Or we say, “All black people are disrespectful of authority.” When we place blame, we end up hardening ourselves into the groups that divide us.

Compassion is different. Compassion seeks to find, even in situations where so much is wrong, a humanity that still unites us. Compassion tries to understand the frustration of the police officers who place their lives daily in danger, often in thankless situations. Compassion tries to understand the fear of black Americans who know that statistics show that, when they are stopped by the police, they are less likely to experience a fair and just outcome.

This choice between judgment and compassion lies at the heart of today’s gospel. The hatred in Jesus’ time between Jews and Samaritans was as real and as divisive as racism in our country. And yet, when the Samaritan sees a Jew in a dire situation, he is moved with compassion, and he stops to help. He could have said, “That is my enemy. He is of no concern to me.” But he does not. Instead of seeing a Jew in the ditch, he sees a neighbor. This parable then, of the Good Samaritan, calls us in times of fear and violence to move towards compassion. Compassion can find reasons to unite us on both sides of the racial divide. With that understanding of what we share in common, we are more able to undermine the violence that racism often generates.

Of course, even if you and I today move our hearts less towards judgment and more to compassion, it will not suddenly bring peace to our country. There are many more hearts that need to be moved. But, it is a beginning. And it will also show us to be disciples of Jesus, who commended the compassion of the Samaritan, and who tells us “Go, and do likewise.”

Change this in Theme Options
Change this in Theme Options