This week we have learned that the co-pilot of the plane that crashed in southern France took the plane down intentionally killing all 150 people aboard. We also heard about a 13 year old who shot two of his brothers, killing one and wounding the other, and then killing himself. These events are shocking. Numbing. How can people do such things? Is it evil? Is it sickness? Is it something else insidious?
This past weekend I attended a fundraising event for Clearwater Central Catholic High School. There was an auction. Everyone was given a card with a number for bidding. But the live bidding with the placards was not to buy anything. That was done as a silent auction on line and with texting. The interactive auction was for donations. The emcee called for 5 donations of $5,000 to match a donation of $25,000. The cards flew up and $70,000 was donated in just over 2 minutes. Many of the people donating were parents who are already paying the pricey tuition for their children to attend the school. It was very impressive. Not that they had the money so much as that they were so readily willing to donate. No coaxing, arm twisting, teeth pulling. It was very heartening to see such generosity of money and spirit. I was shocked but in a good way.
Everyday we see the extremes of the human spirit displayed before us. We see the spectrum of our choices. We see our capability for beautiful generosity and goodness. And we see our capability for ugliness and death. We see these extremes in the story of the life of Jesus especially in the events of the last week of his life: The woman anointing Jesus’ feet with oil. The crowds crying, “Crucify him!” May we cultivate the goodness, compassion, mercy and generosity that is within us.
Lectionary readings for today:
Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29
Prayer: May we have the courage to express the goodness within us as Jesus did. Amen.