Monday, May 2, 2011

What Does the Bible Say about Bin Laden’s Death?

By Daniel P. Horan, OFM 
Originally posted 5/1/11 at Dating God

Like so many things, Scripture does not offer us clear responses to contemporary events for the Canon of Scripture is not an answer book, but the historical and religious medium of Divine Revelation. I am grateful to those who have brought these two quotes, one from the Hebrew Wisdom Tradition and the other from the New Testament, both passages considered Holy Scripture for Christians

Proverbs 24:17-20
Do not rejoice when your enemies fall,
and do not let your heart be glad when they stumble,
or else the LORD will see it and be displeased,
and turn away his anger from them.
Do not fret because of evildoers.
Do not envy the wicked;
for the evil have no future;
the lamp of the wicked will go out.

Matthew 5:43-48
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

As I have already said elsewhere, this is not a moment for “triumph” or “celebration,” contrary to what so many television pundits and so-called patriots will suggest. It is indeed an important moment in our national and global history, something to take seriously and reflect upon, but the celebration of the death of a human being is not what Christians are called to do as Jesus makes quite clear above.

God does not desire vengeance and this is not God’s form of justice.

It is a sad day, the most recent in many sad days over the course of the last decade. May we take this moment to recommit ourselves to peace and raise up to respond to Jesus’s invitation for us to follow in his footprints, living the life of the Gospel. The Gospel of forgiveness and peace, the Gospel of life and humility, the Gospel that calls for the end of all violence.

Inspired by the life and writings of Francis and Clare of Assisi, Daniel P. Horan, OFM, reflects on the possibility of understanding relationship of prayer as Dating God in the everyday and ordinary experiences of the twenty-first-century world. You can check out Dan’s Author Page here.

1 comment:

  1. "I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."

    -Dr. Martin Luther King