Saturday, October 3, 2015

Reflections on the Readings
October 4, 2015 - Year B
27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dennis S. Hankins

Matthew 18:3  
Unless you turn and become like children…

The Haunting Routine of Violence

President Obama spoke to our nation about the tragedy at Umpquah College in the state of Oregon.  From his heart, the President spoke of the routine of violent behavior, the routine reporting of such violence, and his own routine of coming before the nation to speak about such violence.

This senseless nightmare is Satan's effort to make us think that Christ's love is without merit and lacks strength to rid the soul of sin's dark blot.

The monstrous actions of the shooter reveals a violent disregard for our fellow sons of Adam and daughters of Eve.  It is selfish, arrogant, and rude in its absolute essence, and is  resentful of the fact that others like one's self are made also in God's image.  

This violent sickness believes somehow that God's image, equitably given to all, is somehow given less to one's self.  Thus violence lashes out, as though God has not freely given us all things, including His very image.  

Therefore, such expression seeks to destroy, to kill another like one's self, and wrongly believes that somehow I am defending God's integrity, as if the children who sit on Jesus' lap are an imposition rather than an expression or example of perfect love.

In truth, at age 60, I hear Jesus calling me to reject always in my thoughts, in my words, and in my deeds the haunting, barren routine of violence, and rather take up the dance of love and see God perfect in His love; violence therefore stripped of its power.


Dennis Hankins is a parishioner at Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral, of the Diocese of Knoxville, TN.  Prior to uniting with the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil 2006, Dennis served as a priest in the Charismatic Episcopal Church. E-mail Dennis at: or follow him on Twitter: @dshankins or visit him at:

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