Ash Wednesday

“Watch out, guard against the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod … Do you not yet understand and comprehend?  Are your hearts hardened?  Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear?  And do you not remember?”

Do you still not understand?

Mk 8: 17,18,21

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The deaths of Christians at the hands of ISIS brings us closer to the agony of Christ and His Crucifixion.  Perhaps it is good to know this suffering as He knew it. Perhaps we are at a crossroads, a time when we will be counted as either with Christ or not with Christ.  For too long we have lived and prospered without that one solitary question being posed.  Are you with Christ, or not?

The above words of Jesus are to his disciples.  He warns them to avoid the corruption (leaven) and evil of the Pharisees and Herod who were so converted to, and captured by, the world that they will not believe without constant signs of miracles from Jesus.

His fear in these words is that the disciples, too, suffered from a weak faith, that they did not understand, did not comprehend … that their hearts were hardened, their eyes could not see, their ears not hear … that they did not remember what He had already done and said.

Is Jesus talking to you?  Me?  Us?  Our purported leaders, those who would be Herod, and those who “speak” for them?  Is he talking to the Pharisees of the press and media?

Do our leaders see?  Do they hear?  Do they remember?  Or are their hearts hardened?

Crossroads?  Yes, most likely.  Crucifixion?  Are we not seeing martyrs now? Innocents killed?  So, too, the unarmed? Children?  And the elderly?

If we believe, we will stand up and insist that we be heard, that we will not be dismissed and we will demand that evil be confronted … or our silence will make us crucifiers, implicate us in the evil and corruption that we see.

Crossroads.  Crucifixion.  Where are you?

Shalom.

Whatever we do we do together – Christians and Jews together.

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