Last week at this time, the annual Boston Marathon on Patriot’s Day occurred.
A normally happy event was shattered by a couple of bombs being exploded in the crowds and killing several people and injuring several hundred. After the shock of this event occurred and our prayers for the dead, the injured, the runners, the spectators and their families, we all thought who did this, why did they do it, will they be caught and brought to justice. That began an intense week of pursuit and the involvement of over 4,000 law enforcement officers. In a few days, a couple of suspects were identified and they were caught or killed within a a few days.
The initial speculation was whether Al Qaeda or Muslim terrorists were involved. And, then, there was all the speculation that goes along with the implications of this idea. It, also, brings forth all the ugly thoughts about jihad. How should we deal with this, is our question including how should we feel and deal with Islamic terrorists?
Our Bishop, Felipe Estevez, properly asserted in his 9-11-2012 message that we, Catholics, reject extreme ideologies while embracing all people of all faiths. How should we view and deal with Muslims when they seem to embrace terrorism against us? Let me start with the teaching from our Lord, Jesus, that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. So, despite how difficult this can be, let’s start our approach to Muslims from a prayerful love for them.
Second, we should learn more about Islam and its followers. We will learn that there are 2 major divisions of Islam, of which you probably heard, called Sunni and Shia. There are other minor divisions as well. Fortunately, 90% of all Muslims are Sunni which is the more the peaceful adherents to Islam. The Shia, from my rudimentary understanding of this, believe that provoking an apocalyptic event will bring back the return of the Twelfth Imam and the ultimate rule of Islam. Iran, to no one’s surprise, is an Shia theocracy and you hear its leaders speak of the return of the Twelfth Imam. In addition, virtually all middle eastern Muslims have developed an antagonism to the West and to the United States specifically because of our support of the state of Israel and the Jews residing therein.
We now know that these misguided brothers were influenced by Muslim terrorists. We will learn more as time goes by. Meanwhile, we should learn more about Islam and the various different divisions and deal with all Muslims with prayer and love. Yes, that is counterintuitive to our natural desires but, as followers of Christ, keep in mind His teachings about love. And, remember to forgive, as He teaches, 7 times 70.
These are my thoughts. Now, please let me know what you think.
Let the light of our Lord shine upon you!
REM (Ray Makowski) Co-Founder, Director and Secretary-Treasurer