My daily reading has me walking through Jeremiah, which is frightening on a whole new level since January 6.
In Jeremiah 14, Israel tries to get things back together. They have failed God miserably and rebelled horribly for hundreds of years. And like an addict that just needs another fix, they come home “repentant” swearing they’ll make it right this time.
“The spiritual stature of a person’s life is measured by love, which in the end remains ‘the criterion for the definitive decision about a human life’s worth or lack thereof.'” — Pope Francis, On Fraternity and Social Friendship
I am working my way through “On Fraternity and Social Friendship” by Pope Francis. An early section is an exposition of the parable of the Good Samaritan. It is heart wrenching to read this section in light of what happened a week ago at the Capitol and what is going on today in the House chamber.
We have lost sight of each other. We have lost sight of our ability to care, especially for those not like us.
It’s probably an apocryphal story, but I do love it:
According to a popular story that has circulated for a long time, a well known London newspaper in the early part of the twentieth century (usually stated to be The Times) asked the question “What is wrong with the world?” and received many replies. The shortest was from G.K. Chesterton, simply consisting of “I am.”
All kinds of people have said in the last 24 hours, as so many good people have tried to say in other dark hours, “This is not who we are.” With all due respect, with the events of January 6, 2021 etched in our brains, this IS us. It is who we are because we keep repeating it.
As I was preparing this post and then started to post, I put my title in first. I almost wrote: “Walking WITH PURPOSE into the New Year.” (Well, not all caps, but those were the words I chose to delete.)
It’s not that “with purpose” is a bad idea. It’s a bad idea to walk into a new year stumbling around. But, that phrase reminded of two more recommendations I want to make to you. I was going to focus on some podcasts to remind us all to stay focused when the political world is a rolling dumpster fire.