On the way into work this morning, I thought more about today’s Gospel reading. Specifically, Jesus’ accusation that those he was speaking to were “children of the devil.”
A lot of people today don’t really think there’s such a thing as “the devil” or even “evil.” Those things are seen as archaic - a throwback to days gone by. Today, we’re much too sophisticated to be caught up in such superstitious mumbo-jumbo.
The problem comes, obviously, when something “bad” happens and then we quickly divide the world into black and white - “us” versus “them.” And, just as obvious, “we” are always the good guys and “they” are always the bad guys.
The controlling story of Jesus’ contemporaries was that they were G_d’s children and others were not. What Jesus says (and John the Baptist before him) spins all of that on its head. People aren’t automatically “good” because they belong to the right group or family. Likewise, people aren’t automatically “bad” because they don’t belong to the proper group or family. With G_d’s Realm breaking in through Jesus, those line are removed. Those who thought they were “in” might just find out they’re not. That’s his point in the story about the “sheep and goats.”
In the Love of the Three in One,
Br. Jack+, LC