by Bishop Thomas Gumbleton
Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace
Every Sunday, if we listen carefully to the readings and sacred scripture, we will find a way that they impinge on our lives to give us guidance in the circumstances in which we live. I think it’s quite extraordinary how the lessons today speak to us in a very particular way about the terrible experience that just happened to us and that terrible incident in Colorado that took place on Friday of this week.
If we listen deeply to our scriptures today, we’ll find guidance about how we should react to such an incident — not only to that incident, but also to the extraordinary violence that constantly goes on in our world, within our country and throughout the world. In our first lesson this morning, as I mentioned in introducing that lesson, Jeremiah had been teaching for almost 50 years to the chosen people not to follow a way of violence, not to enter into a military alliance, but they refused to listen.
So their enemy from Babylonia invaded, destroyed Jerusalem, left it in rubble, carried the people off into exile, and yet what does God say to them? He rebukes them first of all: “Woe to the shepherds that the leaders who must lead and scattered the sheep of my pasture.” Now this is the message, God says: “You have scattered my sheep and driven them away instead of caring for them.” God’s response is: “I (God) will gather the remnant of my sheep from every land to which I have driven them and I will bring them back.” God goes beyond that even…