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Let Go!

Today salvation has come to this house (Luke 19:9) Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

America's most famous architect, the late Frank Lloyd Wright, designed some unusual buildings. Among them is Fallingwater, a house built in the mid 1930s over a waterfall in southwest Pennsylvania. Stretching out over a thirty-foot waterfall, the structure creates the illusion that it is not built on solid ground. When it was completed, the house was an instant hit with the public, and today is a popular National Historic Landmark.

On a university campus in Florida stands another of Wright's creations: a library with an extremely low ceiling -- so low in fact that if you are six feet tall and not careful, you'll bump your head. An architecture student once asked why Frank Lloyd Wright had designed such a building. Said her professor bluntly, "because he hated tall people."

In Jesus' time, "tax-collectors" appeared high on everyone's "most hated" list. The Jews were an oppressed people, living under the Roman military occupation. They regarded their assessments more as forced tribute to the Emperor than as funds collected to defray expenses for governmental services. The despised tax-collectors were those Jews who had bought their offices from the Roman Authority. The Roman oppressor simply assessed the tax-collector a fixed amount for his territory. He, in turn, had the job of raising the money -- with enough left over to make it a profitable business for himself. This was, in effect, a license to practice greed and injustice. The more taxes collected, the higher the tax-collector's profits. Gangster-methods of collection were not uncommon. For these reasons, a tax-collector was regarded not only as an extortionist, but as a traitorous person who had "sold out" to the Roman oppressors. [...]

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Have you ever noticed how many times Jesus told people to go? Go tell! Go work! Go in peace! Go . . . and sin no more! Go preach! Go to the next town! Go into the deep! Go into the street! Go into the village! Go make it right with your brother! Go quickly! And did you notice that He never once said “Go gossip . . . Go argue . . . Go complain . . . Go bicker.” But he did say “Go into all the world!” ”ID” (Adapted). ”Go your way; behold I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals." (Lk. 10:3-4)

Good Friday

Author Elie Wiesel, a Jew, gives a deeply moving reflection on the Good Friday reality of God’s presence in the following account of an episode in a Nazi concentration camp: One day when we came back from work, we saw three gallows rearing up in in the assembly place. Roll call! SS all around us, machine guns trained; the traditional ceremony. Three victims in chains — and one of them, the little servant, the sad-eyed angel. The SS seemed more preoccupied, more disturbed than usual. To hang a young boy in front of thousands of spectators was no light matter. The head of the camp read the verdict. All eyes were on the child. He was extremely pale, almost calm, biting his lips. The gallows threw its shadow over him . . . The three victims mounted together onto the chairs. The three necks were placed at the same moment within the nooses. “Long live liberty!” cried the two adults. But the child was silent. “Where is God? Where is He?” someone behind me asked. At a sign from the head of the camp, the three chairs tipped over . . . I heard a voice within me answer: “Where is He? Here He is — He is hanging on this gallows.”


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