Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Civility or the Lack Thereof

“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raqa,’ will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, ‘You fool,” will be liable to fiery Gehenna.” (Matthew 5: 21-23)

On the National Public Radio, BBC, some of the broadcast channels, there has been discussions about civility in society, or the lack thereof. We have seen examples of this lack of civility in the halls of Congress, on the tennis court in Flushing Meadows, NY, and on stage. And what we have seen on the streets and in town halls concerning the subject of health care reform is not a debate, but a yelling match between two sides with no respect for the other. I have not seen such discord, such anger, such name calling, since the days of the Vietnam protests.

This is why I am quoting again from the Gospel of Matthew. We all need to be reminded again what our Lord Jesus Christ preached. We need to be reminded that Jesus commanded us to love another. Not just those who are lovable, but even those we may think of as “jerks.” We are called to love all, to be respectful of all, to be courteous to all.

So we should turn to God, open ourselves to him, in prayer, and ask him to remove our stony hearts, so prone to outbursts and insults; and replace them with hearts full of love. Let us, by our words and actions, be a balm of peace on the world. Let us show the world how truly to love and not how to insult.

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