When Jesus spoke, his words were not always well received. He had a way of setting people’s teeth on edge and bringing them into conflict with each other. One can appreciate the revulsion caused by talking about eating his flesh and drinking his blood even if clearly he was not suggesting cannibalism as he spoke of all those wanting eternal life doing this. All became clear at the Last Supper when he took the bread and wine of the Passover meal and transformed the ritual into what came to be known as the Eucharist.
When Jesus commanded his disciples to love their enemies he clarified the meaning of this words adding do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you and pray for those who tell lies about you. How many have rejected this commandment as intolerable language yet it is the stuff that breaks cycles of violence and brings peace to society.
In our society hate speech is classified intolerable and can be a crime. Very troubling today is the risk ordinary people run if they support man-woman marriage. Examples abound of their being abused as bigots one of the most recent being from a participant on Monday’s Q&A who described himself as a ‘godless Brit’ but who was verbally vilified for not taking the line most commentators do these days when somewhere in their opinion pieces they say something like: “of course, I support the move to marriage equality.’.
The voices advocating change are strident and well organised and not beyond using the tactics of intolerance to silence discordant voices. What is happening is not a development but a seismic societal shift with no historical precedent and consequences yet to unfold.
Be strong if you find yourself on the receiving end for not being part of “popular” opinion. All love is not nuptial love and our society needs all we can give to ensure the reality that is marriage is not eroded by those who are intolerant of those who disagree with same sex marriage proposals.
Fr Adrian Farrelly
|Aug 21, 2015
|21st Sunday in Ordinary Time 23.08.2015