Anakin and Mussolini
March 13, 2022 Abbey Church Abraham
We know the story: Jesus was a good guy doing the right thing – healing and helping people with love and compassion; Herod was a bad guy doing the wrong thing – controlling and exploiting people with greed and fear. Our own stories are not so obvious.
Helping and healing people is never wrong, but sometimes we can do it in ways that are not best for everyone. Wielding power and authority and keeping public order and tradition in place are not always wrong – in fact, those things can be a means of helping and healing people. Many evil tyrants do not start out that way. They truly want to do the best thing for people, but allow fear or ego to take over their motives. Many people who start out helping and healing people and speaking out against corrupt and hurtful governments and traditions become evil tyrants in their own way, allowing fear or ego to take over their motives, and becoming rigid in their rules of how to be helped and healed.
We need to be always checking our motives and methods and never be smug about our correctness and our foes’ incorrectness. Healing and helping people is never wrong, but the way we go about it might need some refining. Keeping public order and safeguarding tradition is usually not wrong, unless it keeps people from being helped and healed.
We must always be open to the possibility that we are wrong and the people who oppose us might be right. It takes a lot of maturity, prayer, and advice to make sure our motives and methods are good. It is important to do the right thing, but it is even more important to do it in a way that is helpful.
We don’t have all the answers, but we can open ourselves up to the Holy Spirit so that we can be always learning. We can stop obsessing about ourselves so much so that Jesus can grow in us, helping us to be more helpful and healing. We can watch ourselves, so that when the Herod part of us takes over, we can catch it and put the Jesus part of us in its place. It takes time and effort, but God’s grace is always there to begin and complete the task. We can start by coming to be fed at this table by Jesus, who wants to fill and satisfy us and give us strength for the work ahead of us. AMEN