John 8:51-59

The Gospel John 8:51-59

Truly, truly, I say to you, if any one keeps my word, he will never see death.” 52 The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon. Abraham died, as did the prophets; and you say, `If any one keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you claim to be?” 54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing; it is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say that he is your God. 55 But you have not known him; I know  him. If I said, I do not know him, I should be a liar like you; but I do know him and I keep his word.  56 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he was to see my day; he saw it and was glad.” 57 The Jews then said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59 So they took up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple.

This is an excellent example of something still going on in western society today.  Did the people in that passage wish to dialogue with Jesus?  The answer is no they did not.  Once he said something that they did not want to hear they wanted to kill him…the ultimate in shutting him up, or so they thought.

Bullies, that is what they were.  In our western culture stoning someone has been taken off the table, (thank God).  But look around to see what happens now in politics & religion.  You are a liar if you say you want a dialogue about an issue with someone after you have accosted them with yelling, name calling and finger wagging.

In politics the right calls the left names, the left calls the right names and both think that if they make fun of their opponents it will lessen the impact of their message.  They are adult bullies and bullying is their way of trying to control others.  And too many people think that yelling at someone is starting a dialogue. 

Don’t stone the people who have something to say just because you may disagree And don’t think shouting to silence them will work either.  Sexual abuse is a terrible thing I think we can all agree with that.  Sexual abuse by a priest adds a spiritual dimension to the devastation and often times separates them from God making them blame and hate God. 

If we as human beings cannot get over our prejudices or stop wallowing in ignorance how can we help?  And it is up to us to help.

About follow1in3

I am a Roman Catholic priest ordained for the Diocese of Wilmington, DE who is also a victim of clergy sexual abuse. I am often angered by the insensitiviy and hostility of other clergy, the hierarchy and the so-called people-of-God. If clergy, bishops included, really and truly understood abuse, (any kind of abuse), I would not feel the need to blog on occasion. It is very frustraing.
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