There’s a place in society for prophetic denunciation. There’s also a place for restraint.
Season after Pentecost | 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)
Exodus 16:2-15; Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45; (Jonah 3:10-4:11; Psalm 145:1-8;) Philippians 1:21-30; Matthew 20:1-16
Once again, the epic drama of slavery and freedom is upon us. No, I’m not referring to Ferguson, although others have written extensively on links there to the nation’s history of bondage, legal violence, and avoidance of justice. While others protest, this weekend millions of moviegoers will behold Exodus: Gods and Kings. “Let my people go” will square off against law and order. The fish will die; so will the first born males. The Red Sea will separate, for a time, and then its crashing waters will destroy an army. Exodus has been with Americans since the nation’s birth.
I find more than a dozen military references in the Pauline corpus. In Philemon, Paul includes in his greetings “Archippus our fellow soldier.” In this week's second reading, Paul advises his readers to stand firm and strive side by side. The former Roman soldiers living in Philippi would have heard a reference to a Roman military formation.