The Twenty-Ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time
In the first reading, God tells the people of Jerusalem that he is the sole creator who is above all other forces. Nothing happens in the world outside of God’s plan. The sun rises and sets according to God’s design. Rulers of the world rise and fall, and kings are made to govern the people, but through it all, God’s majesty endures. Jesus, in all he does, will always remind us of God’s sovereignty. After all, he is the Word of God.
Word games and entrapment, in the long run, will fail. Jesus proved that as he remained above the trickery of the religious authorities who had power to crush him, and still he spoke plainly. We have to be able to speak plainly to bring the truth to the light, even though we may feel very alone and isolated. The current news of sexual abuse by Harvey Weinstein and other prominent figures give our society a courageous chance to correct grievous wrongs. Though the sexual abuse by people in positions of authority and influence is devastating, we, as church, have been through and continue to grow through our crisis. We still have many faults and much more work to do, and we are learning to deal with potential abuse better. Our job as church is to help people reclaim their God-given dignity and to help victims validate their experience and to know of their redeemed worth in the eyes of God.
No woman, no man, ought to be subjected to unwanted sexual advances or undue pressures, and it is now time to change around the culture that silently permits it. As a society, we do not understand the pervasiveness of this culture or the effects of it, but it does silence and marginalize people who deserve to be heard and treated with dignity. Our fundamental stance must be to honor the stories we hear from victims.
Jesus silenced his critics by speaking uncomfortable truths. We must follow that example because we believe in God’s universal care for each person. Let us give time and space to people who needs to tell their story of injustice, and let us encourage them to realize that life gets better when they bring what was once hidden into the light of day. As a society, we cannot change without their help. Come forward. Speak up. Know that we will honor your story and walk with you. You do not need to do this on your own because you will find many other victims who are saying, “Me too. I’ve been abused by unfair treatment.” Let’s bring an end to this destructive behavior because you deserve more than you have been given.
We will honor you with the prayer of St. Paul that we hear in Thessalonians, “We give thanks to God always for all of you, remembering you in our prayers, unceasingly calling to mind your work of faith and labor of love and endurance in hope of our Lord Jesus Christ.” You are special to God, and you are special to us. In the end, God’s word will see the light of day.
why do you not know how to interpret the present time?