Violence is not the Solution.26th Week Tuesday Ordinary Time
Mahatma Gandhi is well known for his doctrine of non-violence as a key to achieving progress. He is recognised with his nonviolent protest (satyagraha) which he uses to achieve political and social progress. Gandhi is a father figure in India. He is well recognised for His movement against the rule of Britain in India.
He is a politician and social activist, but not a supporter of violence. In an interview, Mahatma Gandhi was asked why he prefers non-violent ways, instead of using violence to achieve freedom for the Indians. Mahatma Gandhi says “I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent. An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind”
Violence comes into play when we try to use physical force to achieve our purposes in life. The aim is to injure, abuse, damage, or destroy for a certain objective. Everything we get through violence does not have a lasting effect and its damage is always greater than the benefits.
So, many times we try to use violence to solve problems, it ends up in boomerang. Violence is not the solution to any success, freedom and victory in life.
Many families today would have enjoyed everlasting peace, if not for that they embrace violence. Many friends today would not have broken up, if not that they pick up the weapon of violence than peace.
The victory won through peace and nonviolence has more effect than the one we get through the violence. More violence begets violence.
Sometimes we try to employ violence to solve problems in our families, countries, communities, towns, etc and it ends up causing more damage. Gandhi says “that the solution to freedom is not in using more weapons, the solution is using more of the mind”.
There are times when some people will treat us badly or do something bad to us and we feel like getting revenge. There are times people will attack us and we feel like the best is to attack back and show them how powerful we are.
We may feel satisfied when we do so. But the point is that we have reopened more wounds. The way to overcome them is not by giving them back.
We have to overcome with peace and goodness. This may sound like the weapon of the cowards but it will give us a more lasting effect, without damages, loss of lives and property. Violence is not the solution. Goodness is the solution. There are things we need to pay a blind eye to.
David overcomes the wickedness of Saul, not by weapon but by goodness. Joseph would have shown revenge to His brothers but He did not. Rather he overcame it with goodness and peace.
Goodness and peace may be underrated but their victory lasts and causes lesser damage. Therefore, let us cease using violence in solving problems. Violence is not the solution.
Jesus On His Way to Jerusalem.
The gospel of today begins by telling us that as the time draws near for Jesus to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely takes the road to Jerusalem and then sends messengers ahead of him.
These messengers who could be James and John set out and went into a Samaritan village to make preparations for Him. The Samaritans did not receive Jesus. Maybe Jesus wants to walk through the village to Jerusalem. The people did not allow Him.
When James and John saw this, they asked Jesus ‘Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to burn them up?’ But Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they went off to another village.
We have to Focus.
This gospel reveals to us that the time for Jesus to receive His cross is near. He is now on the ultimate journey to suffer and die for humanity. That is the reason Jesus undertakes His final journey towards Jerusalem. Jesus knows that there is something that is awaiting Him and He sets His face towards the destination to achieve it.
He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem. Jesus intends to go through the Samaritan town but they did not welcome Him. He did not waste time trying to argue with them, or force them or pressure them to allow him. He chose another road.
Therefore, Jesus is teaching us to focus. We have to focus on where we are going, our destination in life and what we want to achieve. Along the journey to do this, so many things will come along the way. We do not have to allow them to distract us. Therefore, on your road to success, never give in to any distractor.
Never allow people to come into your life to create unnecessary distractions. When people do not accept you or do not accept what you offer, make a change immediately and focus on your destination.
We do not have to waste our time trying to fight them or attack them. We do not have to show them how powerful we are. Violence is not the solution to anything.
It will only cause more damage. If we are in the battle for freedom. More good heads need to come into place on how to achieve it without shedding blood. We have to focus.
Violence is Not the Key.
The Samaritans do not have this cordial relationship with the jews. They did not have a good relationship with the Jews. They have a prejudice against them. The Samaritans are known as the half-Jew and half-Gentile.
After the captivity of the northern kingdom of Israel, a certain group of people from the nation stayed behind. They later intermarried with the Assyrians which led to the race we know as Samaritans.
They have their temple which was built on Mt. Gerazim (John 4:20), their copy of the Torah and their unique religious system.
They descended mainly from the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, who survived the destruction of the northern Kingdom of Israel (Samaria) by the Assyrians in 722 BCE(2 Kings 17:24).
They have this long enmity with the jews. This is why they did not allow Jesus to pass. But Jesus knows that using violence is not the solution. He aims to save and not to kill.
So, when James and John, who were already outraged by this poor reception of Jesus, ask Jesus if they can command fire from heaven on them. Jesus rather rebuked them. The same way He did to Peter when Peter cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant whose name was Malchus. Jesus told him to put the sword back in its sheath.
Therefore, Jesus is letting us know that victory is not by sword nor by thunder. There are many people today who are having disagreements or problems in one way or the other. Instead of seeking for peaceful resolution and finding a way out. They opt to use violence, destroying and damaging their properties.
Such resolutions will create more problems and damages. We conquer with love, peace, goodness and understanding.
Jesus would want the Samaritans to repent, instead of destroying them. His coming is to save lives. He knows the Samaritans still have a chance to repent. He will be happy to see them repent rather than destroying them.
In the same way, God does not want any soul to be lost. He continues to wait for our sincere repentance. Despite our sins, He shows us love and understanding. In essence, God wants us to do the same to others.
May God help us to live in peace, May He never forsake You. Amen