Thursday, 30th Week in Ordinary Time
Jesus, in today’s gospel passage, pronounces a lament over the doomed city of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is more than a city. It is the center of both religious and political power. However, as laments by Jesus, it has become a symbol of everything that is wrong with religion at the time of Jesus. Jesus sets his face firmly to confront Jerusalem and the evils that have corrupted it.
We do the same in our Christian life or in spiritual life. We must also confront the evils within us and around us. We must confront first the evils in our personal life: our selfishness and self-centeredness, greed and covetousness…our inordinate desire for material things and sexual pleasures…our lust for power and domination, prestige and vainglory…our self-righteousness and wrong sense of entitlement…our apathy, indifference, or lack of concern for others…our bitterness and unforgiveness, anger and hatred. It is not a matter of confronting them with our own powers. We will never succeed doing that. It is a matter of letting the power of Jesus to save us from these evils.
We must also confront the evils in our society: hunger and poverty, graft and corruption, vice and immorality, drug addiction and many other forms of addiction, injustice and oppression, extra judicial killings, materialism and worldliness, discrimination and bigotry, crime and violence, war and terrorism, lies and falsehoods, cyber-bullying, bashing and trolling.
We confront the powers of evil in many ways. We do not battle necessarily with guns, bombs and tanks. Our battle is through goodness and kindness, mercy and compassion, patience and understanding, communication and dialogue, forgiveness and reconciliation, service and ministry, prayer and love. We do it through helping, healing, comforting, assisting.
We do not confront evil with more evil (under religious banner). We confront evil with good, as Jesus did. We share in the same victory, Jesus had. Otherwise, we become like our enemies. In the secular world, battles brutalize victor and victim. In the spiritual realm, battle can elevate both. Let us battle evil with goodness.