Today, our reading takes us to an upper room in
I recently watched a film which was
I recently watched a film which wasbut one story in the epic saga of the battle for independence of
Who stands his ground? Only the man whose ultimate criterion is no his reason, his principles, his conscience, his freedom or his virtue, but who is ready to sacrifice all these things when he is called to obedient and responsible action in faith and exclusive allegiance to God. The responsible man seeks to make his whole life a response to the question and call to God….
It is infinitely easier to suffer in obedience to a human command than to accept suffering as free responsible men. It is infinitely easier to suffer with others than to suffer alone. It is infinitely easier to suffer as public heroes than to suffer apart and in ignominy. It is infinitely easier to suffer physical death than to endure spiritual suffering. Christ suffered as a free man alone, apart and in ignominy., in body and in spirit, and since that day, many Christians have suffered with him.
The other name that I read was that of another theologian (by this stage I was beginning to wonder if I made the right decision to major in theology) this time from what was and is still purported to be, no offence David, the bastion of democracy,
Martin Luther King Jnr is known for the
The question is not, “if I stop to help this man in need, what will happen to me?” “If I do not stop to help, what will happen to him,” That’s the question…
Well I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like everybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned with that now. I just want to do God’s will And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I’m happy tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.
In 1980, in the midst of a US funded war which the UN Truth Commission called genocidal, the soon-to-be-assassinated Archbishop Oscar Romero of
In the name of God, in the name of this suffering people whose cries rise to heaven more loudly each day, I implore you, I beg you, I order you in the name of God: stop the repression.
The church preaches your liberation just as we have studied it in the Holy Bible today. It is a liberation that has, above all else, respect for the dignity of the person, hope for humanity’s common good, and the transcendence that looks before all to God and only from God derives its hope and its strength.
The next day, as he celebrated Mass, he was murdered by a sharpshooter. A number of those who attended his funeral were also shot in front of the cathedral.
Here in the Pacific, we remember the Seven Melanesian brothers killed during the ethnic conflict in the
But is not just priests, ministers and lay church workers and missionaries who are called to be obedient unto death. Time does not permit me to reflect on the 200 million Christians under some form of persecution around the world. All of these people from different places, races, cultures, denominations face arrest, eviction, attacks, intimidation, interrogation, imprisonment, beatings, being burned, beheading, starvation, stoning, rape, and death for their faith in and obedience to Christ.
Brothers and sisters, the message to us is deafeningly loud, we are called, we are challenged and we are shown how. Do we dare to be obedient unto death? Amen.