From the Hermitage
The Old Testament reading today offers us someone who has been roundly condemned throughout the ages. As we consider an OT woman's reputation, as in any instance where there are clear accusations about actions and intentions, we might take a moment to consider our own times and how we have become a people who are quick to condemn.
Listen to the voices of "critics of our times" who, it seems, now either totally confused or changing their tunes when it comes to the historical atrocities occurring in the nation of Iraq. Seemingly national leadership and those called upon to be advisers to the leadership are now terribly upset that lives are being lost and perhaps the valiant sacrifices of our own troops several years ago in Iraq may stand simply as a lost effort, an unsuccessful war. Some critics compare the Iraq story as similar to the Vietnam debacle. How many innocent people are now literally on the slaughtering block? If this sounds confusing, to me it is no different than the the flip flops and rash judgements being thrown about.
Back to the star of the first reading, Jezebel. From most accounts this woman did what she could to assist her husband, Ahab, secure a piece of land that adjoined to his kingdom. Naboth, the land owner did not want to give up his vineyard on that property. Ahab's wife becomes involved and arranged the death of Naboth thus making it easy for Ahab to take the land.
Jezebel then became the standard bearer for those who act in devious ways. To be called a Jezebel is something akin to a prostitute being made to wear the large, red letter A over her clothing as we experienced in our early American history. Whether those women were guilty or not, simply being made to wear that letter was what decided the minds of many. So, too, today, we have so much that is put upon us by others who write blogs (!!!), speak on numerous radio talk stations, or speak out in public meetings pushing forward personal points of view. Who is correct? How do we determine where the truth can be fount? Are we not at a point in time when we are forced to ask a famous old questions: "What is the truth?"
It is so easy today to make what we have know as rash judgements. How many minds are determined by the voices of a Fox News or a Morning Joe crew? Where is the truth? How often does truth, genuine truth, become the guiding reality in the countless words we hear and possibly read regarding so much. Why is it that political party affiliation seems to be the single, most important factor in determining what is true?
And where is our Church? What impact do our Church leaders have upon helping us know the truth?
But then will our people accept what might be said? What an age we call "our times." How quickly and easily do we tend to judge others without judging ourselves!
Oremus pro Invicem!