Posted by: livingscripture | March 6, 2015

Second Friday of Lent

From the Word of the Day 

“When Reuben heard this, he tried to save him from their hands, saying, ‘We must not take his life.  Instead of shedding blood, just throw him into that cistern there in the desert; but do not kill him outright.’  His intent was to rescue him from their hands and return him to his father”.   

 (Genesis 37: 21-23)   

 How should we live this Wordcommunity

The choice is between fratricide and fraternity.  Even today we see this at all levels: in families, at work, in politics.  Reuben interprets this universal situation very well in today’s first reading.  He tries with all his might to avoid fratricide and create fraternity.  He succeeds, but it will take many years to reap the benefits of that fraternity.  It will take years to heal that wound and allow the brothers to embrace each other and re-build a new generative experience.The entire Bible and all of history as well, are pervaded by the temptation to kill, to prevail over another.  They are temptations that often become actions: Cain and Abel, Jacob and Esau, Joseph and his brothers, and even Romulus and Remus.  The stories of the Old and New Testaments dramatically show this painful situation that can be mine as well.  Others can annoy me so much I may want to eliminate their existence that over shadows mine.  Others obligate me to a rapport among equals that is tiring and is an invitation for growth, to become better, to become an adult.  It is always better to rely on someone else, to live as children so as to have a parent on whom to transfer my own responsibility at the opportune time.  The others instead, demand my full attention because they do not have more or less than I have; they are in competition with me and this upsets my ego.

In my pause for silent contemplation, I will ask the Lord to help me always choose fraternity in my dealings with others.

Lord, help me to never ‘shed the blood of others’ but to seek to build fraternity each day.

The Voice of P. Ricouer, Philosopher

 The killing of Abel makes fraternity an ethical project, no longer a simple natural fact.  We are not born brothers and sisters; we become thus.


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