Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Our basic stance

How do we see the world? If the goal of terrorism is to sow fear in the hearts of their enemies (which is why we call it terrorism), then it appears the 9/11 terrorists won. Beyond the two wars and billions spent on security, their most striking success seems to have been in the hearts and minds of the American people.

If you ask the average American today what is your basic attitude towards people in general, and particularly strangers, we find an anthropology that is not at all in line with our Christian faith.

In today's gospel we see the disciples approaching Jesus from a stance of fear and suspicion, feeling that they must stop anyone who they do not personally know, anyone who hasn't been properly checked out and approved.

Jesus on the other hand begins from a stance of trust, an "innocent until proven guilt" posture.

He who is not against us is for us.

Where is our starting point? Do we begin with a belief that every human being is created in the image and likeness of God? Do we believe that every human life is sacred? Do we believe that every person has a soul, and possesses God-given rights?

When the protests broke out in Egypt how many immediately jumped to the fear of some terrorist Islamic state on the rise?

Is there evil in the world? Yes. But will we let that evil shape the basic attitudes of our mind and heart, or will we continue to be shaped by the example of Christ.