Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
January 21st, 2012

Elizabeth Furlong

Center for Health Policy and Ethics
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Memorial of St. Agnes
[316] 2 Samuel 1:1-4, 11-12, 19, 23-27
Psalm 80:2-3, 5-7
Mark 3:20-21


I write this Reflection on December 29th having had the Blessed opportunity to spend an evening two nights ago with a small group of individuals from Mid-Western states who gathered in Omaha this week for a few days to honor the Feast of the Holy Innocents.  I think of them and the conversation we had because of the violence message that is so dominant in Reading 1.  So much of that evening’s sharing centered on the difference between the ‘imperial empire theology’ of the Roman emperors and the theology of love, hope, non-violence, justice and peace of Christ.  Reading 1 gives us one picture of violence in war with its attendant grief and loss for those who are directly affected and know the now dead soldiers.
It was against this ‘imperial empire theology’ that Christ taught his many parables.  His theology was one of non-violence.  It would be the opposite of the killing of the young male infants and toddlers that my colleagues were going to honor in their annual recognition of the Feast of the Holy Innocents.  The Responsorial Psalm ends with this phrase –“…and our enemies mock us.”  During our dinner sharing two nights ago, a major point made was the recognition of how difficult it is to live out Christ’s message of non-violence in 2012.  One has to be prepared to be mocked if one raises questions and suggests actions to best live out Christ’s theology versus an ‘imperial empire theology.’
I am reflecting on how well and how poorly I live out the above.  Each of you reads this from a different perspective, dependent on the cultural context in which you live and how much one or the other of the above two theologies has permeated your life context culturally and you, as an unique person.  I wish you the same kind of reflection that I am doing to best critique myself, i.e., how do I contribute to an ‘imperial empire theology’ and/or how do I live out the theology of non-violence, love, hope, justice and peace?   Two thousand years after Christ’s life, we should be better practitioners of Christ’s theology.  We know Reading 1 is as applicable in 2012 as it was in David’s time.  We know parts of the Responsorial Psalm are as relevant today as when it was written.  I know that I can choose behaviors to practice a non-violent theology and I know I need to be prepared to be mocked. 
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