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  • Writer's pictureElpidio Pezzella

Don't be Hasty in Speaking

If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.

(James 1:26 NKJV)

Jesus is directing the crowd to the real meaning of his coming. He stimulates his interlocutors with parables and examples of daily life, in the circumstances he draws from agriculture, at that time the most usual occupation. But those who listened to him, while being good at interpreting atmospheric signs, were now ignoring the signs of the times regarding the coming of the Kingdom of God. blood of the Galileans by the Roman Governor. To those who asked him for a judgment on the massacre carried out by Pilate, probably to quell a rebellion, Jesus mentions the tragedy of the tower of Siloe which had killed 18 Jerusalemites. It would seem that the Pharisees, opposed to the use of violence against Rome, would have considered the death of the Galileans deserved. Elsewhere the Zealots, who opposed the Roman government, would have instead argued that those who had died under the Siloe aqueduct deserved this end for having cooperated with the Romans. Each in a way sought in "sin" the cause of the disaster. Jesus does not offer any satisfaction in supporting any of the theses, on the contrary he invites his interlocutors not to fall into judgment, but to repent.

“Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things?I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:2-3). How much we have to learn from Master's behavior. We don't necessarily have to have an opinion or a judgment for everything and everyone. Yet, as the years go by, the scenarios change but the results are always tragically disastrous. In the face of innocent deaths, one is dismayed having no blame to be blamed on the victims. We tend to always look for a culprit or at least a plausible explanation. And when we don't find it, then we bring up God. Jackals, ignorant and insensitive, those who dare to speak of divine judgment, forgetting that the peacemakers will be called "children of God". If non-believers struggle to go beyond earthly life, those who believed in Jesus are already projected into eternity. Chapter 13 of Luke continues, showing us how divine action is unpredictable and incomprehensible. The fig that did not bear fruit and "deserved" to be cut receives instead an offer of special care and additional time. A woman stuck for eighteen years finds healing in general disapproval. In a way unknown to us, the "kingdom of God" grows and rises, beyond our understanding of the Law and the pretentious ability to understand divine action. Once again the Master shows us that the need of others comes before the legalistic rules.

I am not ashamed when solicited about things that are not my competence, I prefer silence or declare that I do not have the competence to express myself. The exhortation of the apostle James is clear. I do not want to live a vain faith, because what comes out of the mouth reveals what is in the heart (Matthew 15:18). For some time I have been committed to paying more attention to myself, to keep my tongue and fingers from uttering or writing hasty judgments. I believe it is healthy and appropriate, and I invite you to do the same. Perhaps we should place ourselves in the condition of sterility of the fig tree and allow ourselves to be solicited by the loving care of the winemaker to bear fruit in the immediate future. Let us allow ourselves to be examined by the Scriptures and become aware of our condition. Without realizing it, we gnaw our hearts for things that don't concern us, we get excited about the behavior of others, we syndicate choices and opinions, just because we get stuck in the mud of social media. In total submission and with a contrite spirit, even now I want to correct my hasty speech, from judging without knowing, from accusing without any mercy, from attacking without tolerance. I hope you can join in my prayer: "May, Lord, learn to suffer with those who suffer, offering my shoulder and raising my humble prayer for those who are crying, in Italy, in Europe and in the world... because pain does not know boundaries".

Bible Weekly Reading

Plan # 44

October 25, Jeremiah 6-8; 1 Timothy 5

October 26, Jeremiah 9-11; 1 Timothy 6

October 27, Jeremiah 12-14; 2 Timothy 1

October 28, Jeremiah 15-17; 2 Timothy 2

October 29, Jeremiah 18-19; 2 Timothy 3

October 30, Jeremiah 20-21; 2 Timothy 4

October 31, Jeremiah 22-23; Titus 1


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