Tuesday, March 22, 2016


As we move our way through Holy Week each time we rarely spend time contemplating Jesus' anger. It is far more likely that we will focus on his admonishment of Peter for acting out with violence against the Roman soldiers who come to arrest him, or his "Father, forgive them" prayer from the cross. At the beginning of the week though Jesus got angry, overturning tables in the temple, the co-called "temple tantrum." He symbolically shuts down the activities of the centre for worship which he feels has strayed from its purpose of justice and righteousness. When we do refer to this story we tend to speak of righteous anger.

Today suicide bombers recklessly and ruthlessly killed innocent people in Brussels. In their all-consuming anger Islamist extremists murdered and maimed those they did not know, and the dead may include devout Muslims for all we know. These acts of violence achieve nothing, solve nothing.

I am angered, outraged by what has transpired today and by every act of terrorism, and I think I should be - we all should be. What I also believe is that I can't give myself over to "eye for an eye" thinking, because that would betray the teaching and example of Jesus. To the very end of his life he lived passionately rather than meekly, but he chose a way which challenged violence and brute force. So should we.


People wrapped in blankets leave the scene of explosions at Zaventem airport. (Francois Lenoir/Reuters)

1 comment:

roger said...

Regarding the violent extremism and terrorist acts, we can't "carpet bomb"(as one GOP candidate suggested) or "wipe out" Daesh by air strikes and ground wars. That will create more hatred and result in more people on the fringe joining in. We need to have a strong counter-narrative, especially from Muslim leaders, to really drive home the point that Daesh is not Islam and that they have essentially hijacked the religion and twisted it into something it is not. We need to focus on preventing radicalization from happening in the first place. No easy task obviously.