Daily Reflection for April 16, 2011

Ez. 37:21-28 Jn. 11:45-56
Click here for today’s readings.

The daily news in our land these days is so disturbing to me: “Cut Medicaid for the poor, Medicare for the middle class, and taxes for the richest.” In the most agreed upon recent cuts “foreign aid” is the easiest to kick, aid for the poorest on the globe. What is happening to my “land of the free and the home of the brave,” I ask? Cut the budget, yes. But not in a way that tears our nation apart. Francis of Assisi taught that to follow Christ we are called to embrace the lepers and the poor by the side of the road, not marginalize them further.

The readings of this last week of Lent on covenant, especially today’s, at least give me some hope. The prophet Ezekiel expresses God’s word that he “will make us one nation upon the land…will make [us] a covenant of peace.” Do I believe God’s promise that all devastating division can disappear?

Maybe I am ready for Palm Sunday, not so much for the palms, but for the procession, the movement of Christ with his people into Jerusalem, to Calvary where He reveals the real cost of embracing the lepers and the poor by the side of the road. I am not sure I want to go, but is there any other way? Why is it that a “covenant of peace” is to be sealed in the “covenant of [his] blood?”

Wayne Hellmann OFM
Chair, Department of Theological Studies


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