Edmonston, Spanish thanksgiving and homily in English at the BUC

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the Vegas shooter's lair

Homily and thanksgiving at the Balboa Union Church on October 8

by Phil Edmonston

Las Vegas Matanza: Irónico

Sí, la masacre de casi 550 personas en Las Vegas la semana pasada par un francotirador fue horrible, pero, también hay algo que es muy irónico:

El empleado de seguridad del Mandalay Bay de Las Vegas, hacía una ronda de rutina por el casino cuando le pidieron que subiera hasta el piso 32. Desarmado, el empleado de 25 años no tenía claro que iba a enfrentarse a un asesino sin escrúpulos, listo para descargarle más de 200 balas. El tirador le vio venir por las cámaras que tenía instaladas en el pasillo y en la mirilla de su habitación.

Cuando se aproximó a su cuarto, el tirador abrió fuego a través de la puerta de la habitación e hirió el empleado en la pierna derecha. El le quitó hierro al asunto asegurando que sólo “estaba haciendo mi trabajo,” aunque el sheriff en Las Vegas, describió su acción como un acto de valentía que posiblemente ayudó a evitar más víctimas mortals a un concierto de country desde la habitación de su hotel.

Lo que es ironico… El agente de la seguridad se llama Jesus Campos, uno de los latinos calificados por el Presidente Trump como violadores, ladrones, y maleantes.

Tengo no más que esto repuesto:

Gracias, Jesus.

End of Times?

The gunning down of over 500 people and the death of 58 last week in Las Vegas by a lone sniper was, indeed, an act of pure evil.

But, it was a predictable evil, fueled by an easy access to firearms and an angry, aging electorate that feels life is ‘rigged’ against most people.

We are seeing the democratization of violence. Innocents gunned down in their schools, homes, and churches. It’s not surprising this has led some Christians to believe that we are in the “End of Times,” just prior to the Second Coming of Christ as prophesied by the Apostle Paul:

“In the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good” (2nd Tim 3:1-3).

Everyday we see political and religious ideologies clash with one another all over the world as humankind declares war on itself and threatens a nuclear holocaust. Again, as prophesized by Paul,

“…Hearts will be filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. We shall see the rise of “envy, murder, strife, deceit, and maliciousness — gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, and others who are foolish, faithless, heartless, and ruthless.” (Rom 1:29-31).

Without a doubt, we are certainly seeing evildoers everywhere, but, we aren’t facing the end of the world. In fact, the ‘good old days’ were far worse, says author Steven Pinker in The Better Angels of our Nature.

Pinker points out that that time promotes progress; and man eventually evolves from violent competition to peaceful cooperation. But, progress isn’t linear and there is a price to pay.

Pinker notes that millions died when the Lord flooded the Earth and ‘rebooted’ mankind; more than 800,000 soldiers died in an American Civil War (for every three soldiers killed in battle, five more died of disease) that ended slavery; and 57,000 American combatants died in Viet Nam in a war that was undeclared, unneeded, and unwinnable . Yet, after America abandoned that fight, the loathsome communists morphed into respectable capitalists, and today, Viet Nam is one of the most prosperous countries and largest builder of Ford, GM, Chrysler, and Jeep cars and SUVs in South East Asia. It took a war to get there.

We see everyday miracles in medical care, through improved diagnostic procedures, innovative surgical techniques, and ‘wonder drugs’ that we ‘wonder’ if we can afford as politicians restrict access to those most in need. Diseases like Ebola, polio, smallpox, tuberculosis, and childhood leukemia are not the scourge they once were, although, more of us now die from self-afflicted maladies like obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and AIDS.

Remember, as 60s black activist H. Rap Brown said: “Violence is as American as Apple pie.” Rather than heralding the Last Judgment, it is a sign of poor judgment.

 

Gloria

Gun or Birth Control?

“I want any young men who buy a gun to be treated like young women who seek an abortion. Think about it: a mandatory 48-hours waiting period, written permission from a parent or a judge, a note from a doctor proving that he understands what he is about to do, time spent watching a video on individual and mass murders, traveling hundreds of miles at his own expense to the nearest gun shop, and walking through protestors holding photos of loved ones killed by guns, protestor who call him a murderer. After all, it makes more sense to do this for young men seeking guns than for young women seeking an abortion. No young woman needing reproductive freedom has ever murdered a roomful of strangers.”

Gloria Steinem, quoting a 2013 article by William Hamby on Examiner.com.

Two Bears, Bald Men, and a Prophet

This being St. Francis’s month when animals are blessed by priests in churches around the world, I couldn’t resist quoting one animal story found in the Bible about bald men, two bears, and the Prophet Elisha.

Although this sounds like the beginning of a bad joke we read of the prophet Elisha calling a curse down upon a group of “youths” who mocked his baldness (2 Kings 2:23–24).

Here, read the passage for yourself:

“And [Elisha] went up from there to Bethel. While he was on his way, young juveniles came out from the city and mocked him, saying, ‘Go up, bald-head! Go up, bald-head!’ When he turned back and saw them, he cursed them in the name of YHWH. Then two female bears came out from the forest and mauled forty two of those juveniles.”

So, watch what you say around Fido or Snowball. The Lord knows and the bears may be listening

 

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