This blog is based on references in the Bible to fear. God wills that we “BE NOT AFRAID”. Many theologians state that the eighth deadly sin is fear. It is fear and its natural animal reaction to fight or flight that is the root cause of our failings to create a Kingdom of God on earth. By “the power of the Holy Spirit” we can be witnesses and “communicators” of a new and redeemed humanity “even to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:7 8). This blog is dedicated to Mary the Mother of God.
Friday, April 27, 2018
consists of a collection of speeches, proclamations of punishment and of
salvation, attributed to the prophet Micah which consists almost entirely of
prophecies of punishment, and prophecies of salvation. The second section moves
from prophecies of punishment to confidence in God’s salvation. Micah was a
contemporary of the prophet Isaiah. His prophetic activity was during the
reigns of three kings of Judah: Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. It identifies him
as a resident of Moresheth, a village in the Judean foothills. Micah during the
reign of Hezekiah went from his small town to proclaim the word of the Lord in
the capital, and his announcements of judgment against Jerusalem moved the king
and the people to repentance. Unlike Isaiah, who was a native of the holy city,
Micah was an outsider from the countryside and must have been a controversial
figure. He would have been unpopular with the leaders whom he condemned and the
wealthy whom he criticized. He was quick to separate himself from priests and
other prophets, whom he considered to be corrupt.
Tradition considers all
of the words to be the recorded speeches of Micah, and some contemporary
commentators agree. On the other hand, some modern scholars have thought of
Micah as exclusively a prophet of doom, and therefore attributed as few as
three of the seven chapters to him. The Book of Micah is focused on Jerusalem,
Zion, and the Judean leadership. The Micah who speaks in this prophetic book
knows the tradition that Zion is the Lord’s chosen place, but he is critical of
the popular view that this election ensures the city’s security. Through the
prophetic voice, the Lord announces the impending punishment of God’s people by
means of military defeat and exile because of their failure to establish
justice. After that punishment God will bring the people back to their land and
establish perpetual peace. The will of
God for human beings is that they do justice, love goodness, and walk humbly
APRIL 27 Friday
Chapter 6, verse 9-10:
9The LORD cries aloud to the city (It is
prudent to fear your name!): Hear, O tribe and city assembly,10Am
I to bear criminal hoarding and the accursed short ephah?
Israel was the chosen people yet
they did not fear the Lord. God asks through the prophet a rhetorical
question. Is He to bear criminal hoarding and cheating during the sale of
We are to be sons and daughters
of God. We must be generous as He is generous. A great example for us to aspire
is Mother Teresa who showed us how
mercy is the only way to find contentment through selflessness. “She chose to
live amid squalor and sickness and desperation, endured hardship and endless
toil, and might have been the happiest person on earth.” Mother did not flee
from the Lord; nor did she fear anyone. When the Lord called her; she knew the
call was authentic because it filled her with joy. The first counsel of Mother
Teresa is to put your hand in His and walk all the way with Him. When you hear
the call to follow: follow. To Mother Teresa it was never more complicated than
that. To her care of the dying was the purest expression of love. Who around
you is dying-physically, emotionally or spiritually? Love might not heal every
wound of disease but it heals the heart. McCain notes that Mother Teresa showed
that rather than chasing ambition the greatest contentment comes from having a
foundation of love. “She loved and was loved, and her happiness was complete.”
will of God for human beings is that they do justice, love goodness, and walk
humbly with God
Criminal hoarding, cheating, bribing, shorting on
scales and skimming are all signs of a person consumed by greed. As things
become more important than people wars and genocide can ensue. One example is
the horror of Rowanda. In Rowanda authorities played on popular fears and
greed, some people picked up their machetes and came readily.
McCain in his book Character is Destiny examined the character traits
exemplified by Roméo Dallaire who in 1993, was appointed Force Commander for
the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR), where he witnessed
the country descend into chaos and genocide, leading to the deaths of more than
800,000 Rwandans. When the rest of the world looked away, he stayed behind in a
manmade evil for the sake of duty and justice. Dallaire was in charge of a
small overwhelmed African peacekeeping force, he could have left but he refused
and witnessed the genocide. He is ashamed he could have not done more and the
reaction of the world that stood by for 100 days doing nothing allowing the devil
to reap carnage, terror and hopelessness. Dallaire was the one candle in a
darkened room of despair created by the collective failure of mankind’s
conscience along with the apathy and deceitfulness of world governments toward
Rowanda’s plight. McCain writes of Dallaire dilemma:
U.S. government, our allies, and the United Nations went to extraordinary and
ridiculous lengths to avoid using the term, aware that once genocide was
acknowledged, they would have to act. Day after day, long night after long
night, for over three months, more men, women, and children were added to the
rolls of the victims by their hate-crazed persecutors. Romeo Dallaire soldiered
on, saving those he could and agonizing over those he couldn’t, all the while
begging the UN, and the world, to send more troops, to do something, anything,
to help. In his telling, his mission was to keep peace; peace was destroyed by
unimaginable violence, and many thousands died. He failed. He tried to convince
his superiors to send him more men. He failed. He tried to get the United
States and other powerful countries to listen to their consciences and help. He
failed. He tried to persuade the world to stop genocide. He failed. And while
many, many people who had a responsibility to stop the killings looked the
other way and never had a moment of doubt or a night of troubled sleep, Romeo
Dallaire took his failures very, very seriously.
righteous person, no matter how blameless, will always take humanity’s failures
·The first and enduring lesson
of the Rwandan genocide – not unlike the Holocaust – is that they occurred not
only because of the machinery of death, but because of state-sanctioned
incitement to hate and genocide. It is this teaching of contempt, this
demonizing of the other – this is where it all begins. Indeed, as the
jurisprudence of the Rwandan tribunals has demonstrated, these acts of genocide
were preceded by – and anchored in – the state-orchestrated demonization and
dehumanization of the minority Tutsi population – using cruel, biological
ascriptions of Tutsis as “inyenzi” (cockroaches) – prologue and justification
for their mass murder.
·The second lesson
is the danger of indifference and the consequences of inaction. The genocide of
Rwandan Tutsis occurred not only because of the machinery of death and a
state-sanctioned culture of hate, but also because of crimes of indifference
and conspiracies of silence. What makes the Rwandan genocide so unspeakable is
not only the horror of the genocide, but that this genocide was preventable.
Simply put, while the UN Security Council and the international community
dithered and delayed, Rwandans were dying.
·The third lesson
is the danger of a culture of impunity. If the last century was the age of
atrocity, it was also the age of impunity. Few
of the perpetrators were brought to justice. Just as there cannot be a
sanctuary for hate or a refuge for bigotry, neither can there be a haven for
the perpetrators of the worst crimes against humanity.
·The fourth lesson
is the danger of the vulnerability of the powerless and the powerlessness of
the vulnerable – the brutalized children, women victimized by massive sexual
violence, the slaughter of the innocents – all the first targets of mass
atrocity. It is our responsibility to empower the powerless while giving voice
to the voiceless, wherever they may be.
·The fifth lesson
is the cruelty of genocide denial — an assault on memory and truth – a criminal
conspiracy to whitewash the Rwandan genocide. In the most obscene form of
genocide denial – as in the case also of Holocaust denial – it actually accuses
the victims of falsifying this “hoax.” Remembrance of the Rwandan genocide is
itself a repudiation of such denial – which tragically becomes more prevalent
with the passage of time.
·The sixth lesson
is the importance of remembering the heroic rescuers, those who remind us of
the range of human possibility; those who stood up to confront evil, prevailed,
and transformed history.
Finally, and most important, we must remember and
pay tribute to the survivors who endured the worst of inhumanity – of crimes
against humanity – and somehow found in the resources of their own humanity the
will to go on, to contribute and to make our society a better and more
compassionate community. And so, this anniversary must be an occasion not only
to remember but to learn the lessons of the crime whose name we should even
shudder to mention – namely genocide – and most important: to act on these
Arbor Day is a celebration of trees and their
importance to providing shelter, stabilization for the ground, and beauty to
the beholder. While Arbor Day is a US holiday, several other countries have
adopted similar observances including Japan, Australia, Korea and Yugoslavia. In
1970, President Richard Nixon declared Arbor Day a federal holiday and it is
observed the last Friday in April each year.
Day Facts & Quotes
first Arbor Day was celebrated April 10, 1872 in the State of Nebraska. More
than 1 million trees were planted in Nebraska as they celebrated the first
single tree can absorb as much as 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year and can
sequester 1 ton of carbon dioxide by the time it reaches 40 years old.
editor, Julius Sterling Morton began Arbor Day to help bring attention to
the importance of trees.
the Yellowstone Fires of 1988, the Arbor Day Foundation has partnered with the
US Forest Service. Through this partnership, over 25 million Arbor Day
Foundation trees have been planted.
best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now.
Day Top Events and Things to Do
a tree. Poplars leaf out about now.
a nursery and consider buying some plants.
accent: Crocodile Dundee (1986), The Babadook (2014)
a neighborhood beautification project.
a paper drive. Use the recycling proceeds to purchase a special tree.