Rev. Beverly Bingle’s Homily for Sunday 11/10/13- Justice and Peace Rising
Salvation and justice are one says Rev. Bingle, Roman Catholic Woman Priest from Toledo Ohio.
Peace is what needs to be resurrected and we need to live justice for all. I am happy to present this homily here along with the one I have just published on a similar theme to spread the word. All honor and glory to our loving and living God who gives us life forever.
This weekend’s readings point to resurrection. The scholars of the
Jesus Seminar see this passage from Luke’s Gospel as written in the
style of rabbis of a later time, though they conclude that Jesus might
have engaged in an exchange of this type. In it Jesus affirms and
strengthens what was just beginning to be accepted truth at the time
of the Maccabees family: that there is salvation, that resurrection
happens, that God is inviting us into the fullness of life. Jesus
tells the Sadduccees, “Look! Heaven is different, it’s radically
different. It’s a totally new life, living within the fullness of
God’s life. It’s here and now and for ever.”
Further on in our tradition, Pope Paul VI, in Evangelii Nuntiandi,
also described salvation as existential, now and forever. He said it
involves justice—action toward the reform of oppressive forces and
structures in society. So, to experience Jesus’ resurrection—to be
“saved”—means that the poor are lifted out of poverty, the lonely are
lifted into community, the sick are lifted to health. Resurrection
means that we raise our voices and vote our consciences until all are
lifted into justice. Resurrection means feeding the hungry, housing
the homeless, and visiting the imprisoned.
We’re closing in on the end of our liturgical year, heading for winter
in our Ohio world. We can’t help but think about endings and deaths,
salvation and resurrection. As we ponder, we are increasingly aware
of the significant shift in our understanding of the cosmos and how
that affects our understanding of God. There’s a startling newness to
it, still evolving. We could look at Teilhard, Ilia Delio, John
Haught, Kathleen Duffy and theologize about resurrection for a long
Then we have the first reading from Maccabees, where confidence in
resurrection underlines the courage of the family facing torture and
death. But the story haunts us; it’s troubling.
We remember World War II and the holocaust. As the Franciscan Action
Network observes, “The evil perpetrated at Auschwitz occurred not only
because of a few very immoral and aberrant people but also because of
the many ordinary human beings who failed to question what they were
witnessing, and what they were doing, to other ordinary human beings.”
Millions died… but we were youngsters when that happened, or not even
born yet. We’re past that, we think. We’re civilized now, we think.
Are we? Our drones explode in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, killing,
maiming, and traumatizing. Refugees crowd into camps around the
world—a quarter of a million Darfur refugees and 50,000 Central
African Republic refugees in Chad; 144,000 Syurians in Jordan; 12,000
Liberians in Ghana; 400,000 Somalians in Kenya. Then there are 2
million Palestinian refugees in Jordan, a million in the Gaza Strip, a
half million in Lebanaon and another half million in Syria, 200,000 on
the West Bank. Still others seek refuge from war and oppression in
Thailand, Cambodia, the Philippines, India, Iran, Lampedusa in Italy,
Lybia, Tunisia, Turkey, Malawi, and Malta. In Toledo over eleven
hundred people are homeless.
Thousands are being massacred and tortured in Mexico, Honduras and
Colombia in our “War on Drugs.” The “Western Hemisphere Institute for
Security Cooperation” is the new name given to the infamous U.S. Army
School of the Americas—the SOA. SOA graduates brutalize and terrorize
and murder in Honduras and Colombia. Our government taught them the
Then there are the injustices that come from our immigration policies.
Over 2,500 people have died trying to cross the Arizona desert.
Private prisons, border fences, and electronic surveillance have
blurred the reality of our militarized foreign policy being the root
cause of people leaving their homes.
And there’s the violence of executions. We’re one of the few countries
in the world that still has a death penalty—brutal, inhuman,
The toll of our inhumanity goes on and on. We are responsible for the
death and maiming of war, uprooting peoples, torturing. Everything
that Jesus speaks to us rejects oppression and war. The way of
violence and oppression is not his way. He wants abundant life for us,
abundant joy. And it’s clear that he means that
salvation—resurrection from our old lives—is to be here and now.
If we are not part of the solution, we’re part of the problem. And
that brings us to the second reading and its prayer that our own
lives, our daily activities, be an unstoppable force for goodness.
Many of you know Kathleen and Paul. They are again heading south to
Arizona for the winter—but not as snowbirds. As volunteers with No
More Deaths, they’re heading for the border, where they’ll drop food
and water in caches to save the lives of desperate people. You know
Laurie of St. Rose Parish’s Migrant Ministry, who worships with us and
carries our contributions of rice and beans and oil and clothing to
the local migrant camps in the summer. You know Carol, who stands
vigil in prayer with the Ohioans to Stop Executions at the corner of
Adams and Erie whenever the State of Ohio murders another person in
our name. And most of you know Tom, who heads up our Holy Spirit
Community’s Social Concerns Ministry. Sunday noons will find Tom on a
street corner somewhere with the Northwest Ohio Peace Coalition. This
weekend they’re at the corner of Collingwood and Delaware, drawing
attention to our use of drones. Then there are the many folks—far too
many of you to name right now—who lift people out of poverty when you
volunteer and donate to places like Claver House, Helping hands of St.
Louis, and Padua Center. Many of you have a connection with Corpus
Christ University Parish and will gather for the prayer service there
November 21 to bless and send a delegation from Toledo to the School
of the Americas Watch at Fort Benning, Georgia. Our Holy Spirit
Catholic Community voted to contribute some of your generous donations
to a fund to help sponsor college students who want to join this
year’s SOA Watch. And we all pray, and that changes us so we can
change the world.
We are part of the solution. May we continue to find our salvation
in our daily lives.
Holy Spirit Catholic Community
Mass at 2086 Brookdale (Interfaith Chapel):
Saturdays at 4:30 p.m.
Sundays at 9 a.m.
Mass at 3535 Executive Parkway (Unity of Toledo)
Sundays at 5:30 p.m.
Rev. Bev Bingle, Pastor