Thursday, April 18, 2013

Where are the Prophets?

First, apologies for failing to get posting up for you for the last several days.  Much business taking place in my life at this time.  Now to the first reading of the day.  In particular these lines:

Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter,
and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
In his humiliation justice was denied him.
Who will tell of his posterity?
For his life is taken from the earth.

These words, clearly used to refer to Jesus the Christ, have a significance today.  Let these words speak for children, women and men who have fallen as victims to gun violence in our  country.  These words were of interest to a eunuch who was reading scripture verses following a prayer service in Jerusalem he made his way home.  Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Philip caught up with the man.  The eunuch asked Philip if he explain these words from the prophet Isaiah.  The apostle told the man about Jesus, his life, his death and his resurrection.  So moved by this information, the eunuch asked Philip to baptize him in nearby waters.

How does God speak to us today?  How does God speak to us whenever anyone is the victim of gun violence?  I awoke early, wondering what has happened to our United States Senate.  I know that the gutless wonders who would not support an effort to put some control on weapons of mass destruction -- and the deaths of some 30,000 people each year by gun violence is mass destruction.  Are not 30,000 cases of murder by guns many more deaths reprehensible than the sum of American armed forces deaths over the period of the recent two wars that elected representative call out as horrific events in our national history?

Where is our Catholic leadership in this debate which has now turned to temporary defeat?  What is God saying to us in this moment of time?  Are we not taking time to listen for his voice?  And just who are the Philips, the Isaiahs and other profits.  Where are the likes of the late Bishop Walter Sullivan of Richmond, VA, who died recently; the likes of Bishop Thomas Gumbleton who will, I hope, speak strongly about this failure of the United States Senate to recognized the expressed will of more than 90% of the American people?  I look forward to hearing words from Cardinal Timothy Dolan, President of the American Bishops Conference who, usually, does not shy away from speaking out in sensitive issues.  These are some of my hopes this morning.

Folks, what are we who profess so loudly the treasure of human life, what are we going to do to work for the renewal of the spirit that those who struggled to bring about gun control reform had in this effort.

Read Isaiah's words again and imagine those words as if they were written about a battered wife who irate husband takes her life, or about one of the adults whose live was taken not by violence in a movie but by poor gun control in a movie theatre, or by a child who sought to learn only to be slaughtered like an animal.  Maybe the Wild West of years past has been reborn in our times.  God help us in the future.