Friday, February 6, 2015

Internet Ire and Righteous Results

The readings for February 6, 2015:

First reading: Hebrews 13:1-8
Responsorial Psalm: PS 27:1, 3, 5, 8B-9ABC
Alleluia: Luke 8:15
Gospel: Mark 6:14-29

Pope Francis “hanging out” via Google with kids with disabilities from around the world

There is a lot of hostility being generated in the online worlds. I teach my history students that this is the result of fear. Fear prompts a tongue lashing, or a dismissing of people and ideas. Fear prompts distrust, disloyalty, and a vengeful spirit. There is no peace where there is fear, and the growth of hate.

The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life’s refuge;
of whom should I be afraid? 

Who do we hate? We hate the ones who disagree with us, who challenge us. We hate that our pope makes gaffes (like we all do – and none ex cathedra, I might add). We hate when fellow Catholics misrepresent the universal Catholic Church. The Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen rightly said, “Not 100 in the United States hate the Roman Catholic Church, but millions hate what they mistakenly think the Roman Catholic Church is.” The kaleidoscope of faith should keep us humble. Too often, however, we miss the irony of ourselves not showing mercy and love to others.

Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart,
and yield a harvest through perseverance.

The ability to be kind in the face of cruelty is the redemption of humanity; to seek to benefit others, not just ourselves; to spread love instead of coveting it; to know the race is worth running, even when we struggle to keep up. This is what sainthood means: to be generous in this life as God is with us, and to bring Christ to others in reflection of the way He seeks us. To know of Christ and to know Christ are two different hearts.

Let brotherly love continue.
Do not neglect hospitality,
for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels.

In all our interactions, we must love. These are the greatest commandments. It is our love of God which motivates us to love our neighbor as ourself. Hospitality is in the home, yes, and in all interactions. The internet is not a safe-zone. It is a place where hearts can be met, changed, and nourished. Today, let us not be as King Herod – let us not slaughter the righteous because they mis-worded their argument, or believe something we disagree with, or fear others if we do not publicly act in a certain way.

Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you.
Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Jesus Christ is the same forever, no matter what someone’s Facebook post or Tweet said. Let the Lord be our light!

{Originally posted at Ignitum Today}

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