June 20th, 2006
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When I read today’s gospel, I found myself squirming with
shame. Jesus demands that we forgive our enemies and pray for those
who persecute us. I fall far short on this one. It hit me that I
can still recite the names of the “mean girls” who shoved
me into trees in 7th grade and didn’t invite me to their birthday
parties more than 40 years ago.
Then there’s a whole catalogue of far more recent large and
small grievances against others that is still hanging around my
Jesus would not be pleased. It’s time to clean house. Mea
Overall, today’s readings were tough – the gospel because
I fall so far short of its commands and the first reading because
it is so harsh. Is God really going to punish our kids for our sins
as he planned to do with Ahab? What a guilt trip!!!!!
A scripture scholar could probably explain the deeper meaning of
the first reading but I’m not a scholar so I can’t interpret
the passage in any way other than it sounds. Quite simply, it made
me shudder. I hope God isn’t like that.
The two readings brought to mind the year that I read the Bible
cover to cover as I would any other book. I wanted to find out what
the Bible said as a whole and to form an overall impression of its
contents. I didn’t study it or try to interpret any of it.
I just read it, page-by-page, slogging through even the dullest
The experience made me a Christian for life. Until then I had never
appreciated how astonishing Jesus was and how radical were his demands
for unconditional love such as we find in today’s gospel.
His vision was mind-blowing and his orders clear. Now if I can just
figure out a way to follow Him!!!! Maybe it starts with forgiving
Cheryl, Julie, Annette, Candy, Mary and rest of the 7th grade gang.
to the writer of this reflection.
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