I was in the process of writing something in a similar line for this coming week’s reflection when I was truly hit by this posting by a Mr. James Cornwell who writes for Living Church magazine.
I share his reflection, and I hope you find it as thought provoking as I did.
By James Cornwell
As I write this, one can still hear the echoes of our national conversation on gun control after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Politicians and pundits, both right and left, have held forth since that outrage with prescriptions for addressing the problem of gun violence in America, the implication being that if we just do what they say, we can prevent anything like this from ever happening again. The powers of sin and death are thought to be restrained with a more precise application of public policy, as a bacteria’s spread can be restrained with the appropriate application of penicillin.
But the Gospel reading opens with a different take: the problem is not merely mechanical but spiritual in nature. The blind and dumb man brought to Jesus is so disabled because of a demon – Satan has taken him into his house to be his plaything.
In America, our incorrigible optimism prevents us from peering too closely at the blinding darkness these acts of violence reveal, filling the void with our dumb speech that grasps for reasons. We believe that evil has no real power to drain the light and music from the world, that it is merely the working out of mechanical forces that lie hidden but can ultimately be bent to our will. Our blindness and dumbness in the face of sin and death is simply due to a lack of knowledge and political willpower.
But our will is precisely the problem. The words of Jesus suggest that we are the “goods” of a “strong man.” We cannot escape his power unless he is bound. But do not despair! Because, as St. Paul writes, Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. The machinations of mankind inexorably lead to the cross, but the Word of the Lord brings us to resurrection.
Since the school shooting in Parkland, there has been another school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas.