22 May

Violence In The Name Of God

“I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved — the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!” ~John Adams

In today’s gospel, Jesus told His disciples that there would come a day when people who killed them would think that they were worshiping God.  Violence has been — and is — a reality in our daily lives.

So many people espouse violence in the name of their religion and in the name of God.  Yet, we know that God speaks of peace and love and justice.  He does not speak of war and atrocity.  People have put those words into His mouth over and over again.

When John Adams wrote his letter to Thomas Jefferson, he sure hit the nail on the head.  The cross has been a true “engine of grief” throughout the ages.  It was a symbol of conquest.  It was a symbol of hate.  It was a symbol of ultimate justice.  It was such a negative symbol that people cringed whenever they would think that it would be applied to them.

People were crucified individually.  People were crucified en mass.  Crucifixion was always a public spectacle and an action that got the attention of others.

Jesus may have turned a symbol of hatred — the cross — into a symbol of redemption and love; however, violence still exists in our world.  That can only happen because there are too many people who would rather embrace violence and the ways of the world rather than love and the ways of the Lord.

Which will you choose today?

FAITH ACTION:  Pray for all those who suffer violence because they are faithful to Christ.  Pray, as well, for peace in the world.