Every time that Gospel is read; every time that Scripture story is heard!
Every time some sins are mentioned; every time I know I’m not like them –
If anyone comes to me without hating his father, mother… anyone who does not carry his cross and come after me, is not worthy of me!
Every time I hear about the adultery of King David, the tragedies of Job, the fleeing of Jonah –
Every time I hear of scandals and idolatry and crimes, I cringe and dread the status quo. I seem to thank God I am not like them. Hence the joke that chokes – if I ever behave like so and so, shoot me.
Outside the Moral compass, compassion compels me and many to dare not say Thank God I’m not one of them, I’m not out there in Mamfe, Gaza, Ukraine, Korea, Israel, Palestine, Sudan, Nigeria – the bombers and the bombed, the murderers and the murdered, the victims and the victimisers.
God forbid anyone saying thank God I’m not a migrant, refugee, slave, trafficker, homeless, addict, terminal, elderly, special needs, fanatic…
Compassion compels me/us to scan the moral and political state of affairs that I/we cannot dare say Not Applicable. I’m on the side of charities – Missio, Caritas, Cafod, SVP, Mary’s Meals…
The line between good and evil does not run between people but within them. Dostoevsky.
Ours is the guilt, the shame, the sins of our forefathers, ancestors, parents, leaders….
With the Triumphant, Pilgrim and Suffering Church, the cry of the environment, of war victims, of the sick and the poor, the addicted and the traumatized is not not applicable.
The hearts and minds, the nerves and guts, the fury and crimes, the anger of the strong are not not ours! We know too well how what is right in the morning may be wrong in the evening of life!
We know too well how what is good at night may be bad in the morning!
What is forever applicable and true and enduring is charity, mercy, peace, grace, God, Jesus, good!
What is forever applicable is Truth, Beauty, Good – love, the one thing that does not hurt your neighbour.
God save us and our wounded collapsing world!
(Emmanuel Mbeh 2023)