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Father Muench Says...

Violence, anger and hatred: unacceptable

July 20, 2016

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

I would like to go back to the Good Samaritan Parable with you again.  As you remember, this parable was the Gospel reading a few Sundays ago.  This parable like all of Jesus’ parables is a story, cleverly crafted by Jesus to teach us all a lesson. 

They are so well done, these stories; Jesus was such a masterful story teller.  His stories are so clever that some people think they really happened.  They didn’t. They are simple and wonderful stories.

This Good Samaritan is an image of what a Catholic Christian should and must be.  Such a Catholic cares and is concerned for those in need, standing in readiness to help as much as they can. 

In addition, a Good Samaritan does not reject anyone because he or she is different – a different race or a different culture or of some different religious belief.  We want to say a good Christian cares for anyone who is in need.  A good Christian is indeed a Good Samaritan.  This is recognized in many Catholic organizations especially, I would say, Catholic Charities which demonstrates this spirit of a Good Samaritan.

Each day, on a personal basis, each Christian has the opportunity of being a Good Samaritan.  Many opportunities come up to help those in need.  Sometimes these opportunities are rather simple: helping a neighbor or friend do some chore or other, possibly reaching out to cheer up someone who is going through a difficult time.  This is part of the task of being a Good Samaritan.

Then again many Good Samaritans are challenged to do something rather serious or even important, just like the Good Samaritan in Jesus’ Parable.

Today, I would like to bring up to you a concern of how we can demonstrate our concern for those in need in our day and age.  Our country has been suffering in these recent weeks from all sorts of dreadful, very upsetting incidents.  There has been too much violence, too much killing, too much anger and hate.  Many people ask “what I can do about all of this?  I am just one person and far from all of this violence.”

I would like to believe that we can do something.

I think it is time for us Catholic Christians to set a tone, a tone that will make a difference in this world of ours.  We all must be ready to declare that we know how to live well in the Spirit of Our Savior.  Our Good Samaritan response must be a readiness to remove all that is of violence, that is of anger, that is of hatred from our lives. 

In this way, we can set a tone – a tone that may help to remove violence from our communities, from our families.  In this way we declare to all that we know how to live as good Christians free from all violence.

Eliminating violence and anger may not be an easy task.  Of course, we need the Lord’s constant help but Our Savior will never fail us.  It is something for prayer, something that we all can bring to the Lord as we celebrate Eucharist.  We must reach out to the Lord for the grace to be someone who can live free from anger and hatred. 

I believe that with the Lord it can and should happen.The history of our country has many examples of leaders. Our Church has many examples of leaders who have led us in the spirit of rejecting violence and anger.  We all know the examples of important leaders who have suffered violence and yet continued to reject a response of anger and violence. 

Violence is unacceptable – anger is unacceptable – hatred is unacceptable.  This can be our way of being Good Samaritans today: by saying to our world that we know how to live, we know how to bring help to this world by rejecting hatred and anger.  We show that we can and should live in the Spirit of Our Savior in resisting anything of violence.  Jesus showed us the way in his passion and death. We must follow.

So, we say to the people of our country that we of the Catholic Christian Community will always be a people who know how to live – living a life free from anger and hatred – because we believe that this is the only way to make our country more peaceful. We believe that this is the way that this country may discover how to live sanely.

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