This week we are celebrating our country’s freedom. Our founding fathers believed that we could be a unified nation that was free from outside dominance. That belief gradually grew into a wider belief that we could be free, unified, and at the same time cooperate with other countries. Cooperation and collaboration proved to benefit the growth of the United States.
Today, our belief in a unified country is diminishing. We are becoming more a “we versus they” people. We are narrowing our understanding of cooperation and collaboration. Racism is rampant. Violence in thoughts, words and deeds is becoming the norm. This is not who we are called to be as citizens and as Christians.
Violence can take many forms, some subtle, some hidden and some overt. I often have to ask myself if the seeds of violence are presence within me. Do I criticize others behind their back? Am I judgmental? Do I speak harshly to others? Is racism alive within me? Do I harbor any form of prejudice? Is anger or envy present within me? These few examples can be the beginning of the growth of the seeds of violence within us. These negative seeds must be eradicated for a unified nation to exist.
We are told in the gospels that we are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. This is not always easy but it is what we are called to as Christians. If we lived this gospel injunction every day to the best of our ability, we will be the means by which violence is diminished in our local setting.
Let July 4th be a reminder of what we can be!
Are there any seeds of violence beginning within you?