And once again I go fishing on a nice, crisp fall day....... here it comes courtesy of Ishmael! -- Ed
Words and context are important. Change the context and the same words mean something dramatically different. This point was driven home on October 29 with some of my least favorite Mass readings. These are ones often used as a club to beat white Americans with. Everybody else gets a free pass, but not whitey!
Since the parish is full of Nice Productive People Who Donate Generously, the priests tend to avoid that rhetoric. Other parishes with a high percentage of Free Shit Army members crank the dial up to 11 on Exodus 22:21.
Thus says the LORD:
"You shall not molest or oppress an alien,
for you were once aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt.
That verse is used to justify America’s open borders and forcing us to feed, clothe, and house invaders.
The theme continued in the gospel reading, Matthew 22:39.
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
There you have it, the biblical instructions for supporting every freeloader on the planet. Cut, dried, done, and dusted. Shut up and bleed yourselves dry so a bunch of wetbacks can queef out more kids. After all, if you have a house, your new neighbor should too. If you have a car, so should they. The common interpretation of love is providing your neighbor a lifestyle you yourself want to enjoy.
Folks, it’s time to move to Martha’s Vineyard. Yes, all of us. We can be the recipients of some fabulous neighborly generosity. Odd when new Americans attempted that, the local residents objected. What was the lesson? That when you're rich, loving is only necessary when it’s somebody else’s responsibility?
But wait, Exodus 22 continues with this little gem.
You shall not wrong any widow or orphan.
If ever you wrong them and they cry out to me,
I will surely hear their cry.
My wrath will flare up, and I will kill you with the sword;
then your own wives will be widows, and your children orphans.
Reread that multiple times until it sinks in that God, and therefore His son, absolutely condones and endorses violence in the right situation. He wants us to reach out to Him when we are wronged.
Justice will be delivered with a sword. He can send an angel, or another person to dispense justice on behalf of the innocent. Kyle Rittenhouse?
God wants justice and dispenses retribution when He deems it necessary.
What about the rest of the gospel?
Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?"
He said to him,
"You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your soul,
and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
God wants us to love him. God wants us to love our neighbor as ourselves.
Some interpret this as first we love our neighbor. But I argue that we must love ourselves before we have any extra to share.
That means our country must have borders. Likewise we as individuals have enforced boundaries and standards.
Based on these readings, I propose God wants us to practice legitimate self care. Not a daily breakfast of whiskey ice cream floats, but activities that improve and strengthen us.
For if our bodies are weak and our cup empty, how can we love Him as He commands?
Our physical form is partially the manifestation of what we feed our mind, heart, and soul. Partially, because we are frail humans. But what we consume affects our outer form. It’s visible as our health, our mental sharpness and outlook, and how well we live to an honor code.
Our heavenly Father wants us to go to the gym.[ii] He will always know our hearts, minds, and souls. We owe it to ourselves to follow God’s commandments. Each of us needs strength discipline provides to overcome clown world.