To follow up on my post yesterday on the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue, I want to share a column by Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh. It turns out that the Bishop knew well one of the men killed–as Michael Sean Winters points out, that this is unremarkable is one of the great consequences of Vatican II. (Hat tip to MSW for sharing this.) Here is one beautiful passage:
This massacre is both deeply personal for us and a dire warning for all of us to end the toxic madness that is engulfing our society.
We are all tempted to evil with our tongues, whether through lies, gossip or malice. These murders show what lies, gossip and malice can lead to. Apparently, the perpetrator believed that immigrants threaten this country and blamed a certain Jewish organization for helping undocumented immigrants. From that, he concluded that “all Jews must die.” The Jewish aid organization in question does work similar to that of Catholic Charities.
We know that God calls us to love our neighbor. Jesus defined “neighbor” as someone so different from us that society might tell us that he or she was “the enemy.” No one can be excluded from our love because no one is excluded from God’s love.So, when you or I read or hear something that tempts us to anger against a person or group, we know that Jesus calls us to love them instead. The story of the Good Samaritan shows that by “love,” He means doing something to help them.
What does that look like? It can mean speaking up gently when someone else talks in a demeaning way of others. It may mean disengaging from some social media groups or politely presenting the facts when you read lies in your news feed. Never answer anger with anger.
Consider inviting someone you fervently disagree with to share a meal, or at least a cup of coffee. Instead of talking about what divides you, just get to know each other. Where did you each grow up? What are your hobbies or interests? Perhaps you could discuss what shaped your values. You might even discover a community service project to work on together.
When we recognize the inherent human dignity of a person with whom we disagree, then we “pursue peace.”
You can read the whole thing here.