This week we saw the tragic death of 18 year old Australian suicide bomber, Jake Bilardi. In a blog post from January 13, Bilardi says, “And that is where I sit today, waiting for my turn to stand before Allah (azza wa’jal) and dreaming of sitting amongst the best of His creation in His Jannah, the width of which is greater than the width of the heavens and the Earth.’’
How sad that in his search for God, he found the wrong one. Carolyn Moynahan, in her article, Why do kids desert the West to fight with Isis, written well before Jake’s death, hits the nail on the head in her analysis. And as Greg Sheridan says in his article in The Australian, “how long can the West live off the moral capital of religious conviction that it is now abandoning? The West is the only part of humanity abandoning religious belief. Can societies in which there is no overarching idea beyond the individual compete successfully in the long run?”
In our readings today, John invites us to turn to the right God while there is still time:
For God sent his Son into the world not to condemn the world,
but so that through him the world might be saved.
No one who believes in him will be condemned;
but whoever refuses to believe is condemned already
Of course, Westerners are likely to balk at the word ‘condemned’. But of course it’s not God who condemns you, it’s your refusal to seek him that does.
Download today’s readings here:
Word format: Year B Lent 4th Sunday 2015
Pdf format: Year B Lent 4th Sunday 2015
To understand how God can be both merciful and yet allow people to be condemned, read the homily from Sacerdos. And listen to Fr Barron explain God’s tender mercy here.