Monday, September 11, 2006

Examination of conscience: The fifth commandment

Thou shalt not kill.

In today's Gospel, Jesus healed a withered man's hand on the Sabbath. And the religious leaders of His time were furious about it, and plotted against Him.

Why, do you think?

(In his sermon, the priest spoke about the "demonic twisting" of religion...particularly apt for September 11.)

There are many, many ways to "kill" without actually shedding blood. Let me share this, this -- I don't know what to call it other than maybe my guardian angel nudging me, once again.

Recently I got into an argument with my best friend and business partner over something I don't even remember. (That's how important it was!) I said some nasty things. Later that day, while I was out doing something totally unrelated, I suddenly was given an image of Jesus at the scourging, while simultaneously hearing my unkind words to my friend. With every insult I remembered uttering, I heard the crack of the whip against the flesh of Jesus.

Words can maim. Words can "kill." But other things can, too.

What else can? What do you think the Lord meant when He blessed us with this commandment?