Friday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time
(II John 4-9; Luke 17:26-37)
Like the terms “liberal” and “conservative” “progressive” and “traditional” are buzz words that give more heat than light. One hundred years ago the progressive movement banned gambling and quick divorces in the Old West. Today such legislation would be a victory for traditionalists. In today’s first reading the term “progressive” has a definite negative ring.
The Second Letter of John does not elaborate on the odious “progressive” teaching. It does say its adherents do not accept Christ coming in the flesh. Although this reference may be a denial of Jesus’ return at the end of time, it more likely negates that Jesus actually offered himself as a bloody sacrifice for the salvation of the world. If connected to the first part of the reading, then the adherents of the progressive teaching are also not likely to follow Jesus’ commandment to love.
Many today are “progressive” to the extent that they think a woman has a right to snuff the life a baby growing in her body. Others are so “traditional” that they believe that capital punishment should be preserved as a way of dealing with criminals. We must take seriously that Christ’s coming in the flesh has profoundly altered our perspective regarding the taking of every human life, whether innocent or guilty.