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May 2, 2016

Monday of the Sixth week of Easter

The good news for the Day

Jesus says to you: “I have talked with you about these things so that you may not stumble and fall. People will exclude you from houses of prayer; in fact, the hour is near when anybody who kills you will consider it offering worship to their god. They will do such a thing because they have not known either the Father or me. I have told you this so that when their time comes you may remember that I warned you.” (John 16, 1-4a)

The tradition offers you ten “commandments,”; blithely you and I accept them so often without reflection or prayer—sometimes even with scorn.

The first, prime “commandment” directs us to worship “god,” warning about “false gods.” Possibly—even probably—very many people think in terms of golden idols sitting in ancient temples. “We don’t worship gods of gold, wood or brass, we don’t have ancient temples; we are not savages.”

Such a view misses the point. A “god” is not an idol—even the ancients knew that—it is whatever—whatever!—we revere above everything else. People worship money—and people suffer; some people focus on sex and get others hurt. Others just set themselves above everyone else—they become “like gods knowing good and evil,” as Genesis puts it.

If you believe the Creator God lovingly has made this world, if your worship includes nature, humility and respect for others, if you grow constantly, as the mystery of caring unfolds—Surprise! People will disagree with you; people will make up stuff and pity you, accuse you of “bleeding heart” and naiveté. But you have been forewarned.

Don’t let them deter you. Even religious people can be mistaken; forgive them, they do not know what they are doing. The Good News is your knowledge—your humble, growing knowing that God, our Father—you know and love.

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