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Life Arts    H2'ed 6/30/19

How Marianne Williamson Won Thursday's Debate (Sunday Homily)

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Forgiveness, then, amounts to nothing more than realizing that truth and acting accordingly as though the forgiven one were our Self (because s/he is!). In a world of complete deception, it means accepting the truth that the ones our culture blames like immigrants, refugees, people of color, the poor, Muslims, and members of the LGBTQQIA community are not only completely innocent. Accepting them as our very Self represents the source of our personal and political salvation.

In this light then, prisons (for particularly dangerous people) become re-education centers for rehabilitation, not punishment. This means that even pathological criminals like Trump, Pence, Pompeo, and Bolton can helpfully be sequestered for a while and then returned to society as reformed, productive people. (I know that's hard to believe; but it could happen!)

Yes, for Williamson, the goal of it all (of life itself!) is atonement At-One-Ment practical realization of a world with room for everyone with illusory distinctions either ignored, or played with, or celebrated in the spirit of party and game. Practically speaking, atonement looks like reparations not only to the descendants of African slaves, but to countries we have destroyed like those Marianne referenced in Central America but also like Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Cuba, and a host of others. Instead of dropping bombs on them or applying sanctions, we should, in effect, be showering them with schools, hospitals, infrastructure, technological assistance, and money. It's all part of the reparations due.

Imagine what that kind of foreign policy would accomplish and how much cheaper it would be than the trillions we're now wasting on weapons and war.

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As her books, Healing the Soul of America and A Politics of Love show, Williamson stood ready to share such convictions last Thursday night. But she was never asked. And we're all poorer as a result.

Today's Readings

So how is all of that related to this Sunday's readings? They're about the contrast between the world's wisdom its way of debating, judging, condemning, and praising and God's way of interacting with one another and with creation itself. Check out the readings for yourself here and see what you think. My "translations" follow to clarify their cumulative point:

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I KGS 19:16B, 19-21

We are called
To be prophets
Like Elijah
And his disciple-successor
Elisha
A wealthy farmer
Who understood
That God's call
Required renouncing
Everything the world
Holds dear:
Family, possessions,
And independence
In order to
Comfort the afflicted
Afflict the comfortable
And feed the hungry.

PS 16: 1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11

For what ultimately
Belongs to us
Is not
The world's
Corruption and condemnation
But the God
We deeply are
Who is our very
Food and drink,
The ability to see
Even amidst
The world's darkness,
The source of calm,
Gladness, and health
Who shows
The path to life,
Joy, and unending delight.


GAL 5: 1, 13-18

As Elisha realized:
World and Spirit
Are completely opposed.
Paul terms
Those worldly values
"Flesh."
It demands
Slavery and consumption
Of one another!
What God values
Is Christ's "Spirit."
Demanding
Nothing more
Than love
Of the other
Who is
(Believe it or not)
Our very Self.

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I SM 3:9, JN 6: 68C

Deep down
We know
All of this
Is true.

LK 9: 51-62

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Mike Rivage-Seul is a liberation theologian and former Roman Catholic priest. Retired in 2014, he taught at Berea College in Kentucky for 40 years where he directed Berea's Peace and Social Justice Studies Program.Mike blogs (more...)
 

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