Monday, March 24, 2014

Choosing not to see

This Fourth Sunday in Lent,
30 March 2014: 1 Samuel 16:1-13; Psalm 23; Ephesians 5:8-14; John 9:1-41 often called Refreshment, Laetare or Mothering Sunday

The demonstrations against the war in Vietnam, often had as their catch-cry
"Silence is consent!"
In the face of injustice, dishonesty, illegality
when confronted with evil
to remain silent is to consent to the evil.
We hear penetrating critique about acting morally such as English philosopher Edmund Burke who said,

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

Pastor Martin Niemöller wrote a reflection on the inevitable decline into the Holocaust

First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up,
because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me, and by that time
there was no one left to speak up for me.

As we move to Easter we reflect on the Christian life and living out our baptismal promises:

Do you renounce evil?
The first of the two promises: Do you repent of sin?
invites us to step away from the wrong that we have done.
The second: Do you reject selfishness?
invites us to craft our lives
by a spirit of openness and self-giving
unselfishnes, which is counter-cultural
and stands against much of what our greedy world promotes.

The renunciation of evil invites a stronger stand again
not only will we craft our own lives selflessly
but we will stand against evil.
The image Paul uses is to step out of the darkness
and live in the light.
Jesus, in the story of the man born blind,
reminds us that true blindness
is not a disease
but a choice
we choose not to see
we choose not to act
we choose darkness over light.

This choice may be the passive one
of choosing to do nothing
or to remain silent

--Silence is consent--
it is still a choice.

  • You might reflect where you have chosen to be silent
    in the face of injustice, is there some way you can be courageous, more honest more open?
  • Where does God call us to speak out against
    injustice? Why do we choose to ignore obvious evil? What is the consequence of this?
  • Pray for yourself and your friends that you may
    keep your baptismal promise to renounce evil.

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