2015. február 26., csütörtök

‘Because it is the price of blood’


“And the chief priests took the silver piece, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood.” (Mt 27,6)

This decision reveals a sense of that certain deeds should be separated from the life of the community. There are decisions and morally questionable acts which, if not separate, remain infectious. The point is that a morally questionable solution (political, cultural, local decision) should be reflected upon. The above biblical scene of Judas’ betrayal when he returns the sign of his betrayal is such an attempt. The arrest, trial, and planned execution of Jesus, from the part of the Jewish religious leaders, was a corporate decision. It was morally wrong; also with dubious motives in the background when they handed him over to the Roman authorities in order to kill him. The recognized need for this ‘separation’ by the Jewish leaders, however unfinished their solution remained, offers an important moral to our present.

Our age, our Western culture, our particular political culture, tends to forget that wrong acts need to be mourned. ‘The price of blood’ remains invisible and mingled with the life of the community. The way in which the prime minister (D.C.) finds a solution to sell weapons to Ukraine, via a ‘third party’, an Arabic country, is the apex of hubris and hypocrisy. Christians, in all circumstances, should give voice to the ‘innocent blood’, on behalf of the victims. If we Christians do not cry out for peace and reconciliation, who else would? In a global world, burdened with endless conflicts, every deed should contribute to stopping violence and the threat of war. Biblical gestures, far deeper than that of the chief priests in our passage, should be performed. As gestures of reconciliation, common sense, and profound desire for peace. Why is it, that the acts of justice, rooted in love and self examination, do unmask whenever and wherever ‘there is a price of blood’? Through prayer, surely, we will recognize any collective act, which contributes to violence, should be recognized and removed from the life of the community. However painful they might be as the signs of our betrayal of ‘the innocent blood.’


26 February

2015. február 25., szerda

Psalm 119

“Thy statues have been my songs: in the house of my pilgrimage. I have thought upon thy name, O Lord, in the night season: and have kept thy law.” (Psalm 119,54-55)

There is such a profound need to examine and clean our inner history. This is an elementary need to merge our whole being with the Lord of history. His Laws are purifying us. Our vision gets purified and wholesome: we can see  more of our truer self.

‘And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy commandments’ (Ps 119,45). Seeking this inner law of History, seeking the commandments of the Lord of history, is freedom. Freedom can be understood in terms of getting closer to the genuine ‘self’, individual and collective, which God desires for us. That is why, the Psalmist can say: “I made my humble petition in thy presence with my whole heart.” (Psalm 119,58) This ”striving” brings about a change. We become capable of interceding for ourselves and the needs of our world, particularly those of our local history. The fruit of this attempt to synchronize our self with that of God, that we become responsive. That is, we can see these needs, and respond promptly. This is the way that history is being healed, it is less and less legged behind God’s vision of our history. ‘I made haste, and prolonged not the time: to keep thy commandments.’ (Psalm 119,60)

These are the closing lines of the Psalm, which are most telling of our present. “O learn me true understanding and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments” (v.66) This attempt to embrace God’s vision of “the whole heart” which is called to see and pray, leads us to feel pain whenever this inspired self-knowledge is refused. For Christians it is time to pray for their political leaders that they may understand: selling weapons to conflict zones, like Ukraine, is morally wrong. Every troop, every weapon sent to the region is a powerful symbol of our blindness to payer and our truer self.

25 February