blindness, Bridge of Spies, children of light, Cold War, enemy, Ephesians, goodness, James Donovan, no one is perfect, prodigal son, relationship, righteousness, Russian spy, search for truth, St. Paul, The Sophia Center for Spirituality, truth
Again this Sunday there are two sets of lectionary readings from which to choose a theme, depending on whether a parish has catechumens or candidates who are being initiated into the Roman Catholic faith. Both gospel texts are good stories – one the Prodigal Son parable and the other about the man born blind where everyone is concerned to find out whose sin caused the blindness. Even the Hebrew Scripture weighs in with the story of how David was chosen as king. Looking at all of this I can only conclude – as I often do – that it’s all about relationship and the search for truth. Oh, yes, and the fact that nobody is perfect.
Last evening we watched the movie, Bridge of Spies at home. A true story about an incident in the Cold War, it was quite engaging in many ways but especially as an indicator of the integrity of attorney James Donovan, chosen to defend a Russian spy. Everyone expected the trial and the spy’s execution to be a “slam-dunk” but Donovan was having none of that. I won’t go further with the plot but would recommend the movie and make one more comment that I see as reflective both of today’s text from the letter to the Ephesians and the theme of relationship mentioned above.
Paul exhorts his listeners to live as children of light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth. Throughout the movie Donovan treated the spy as a human being worthy of respect simply for the fact that he was a human being. Shining a different light on the word “enemy” by coming to know the man – even though he was admittedly guilty of being a spy – calls me to be careful of vilifying an entire population because of the actions of a government or a group of people. This is not as simple as I make it seem, especially when we are seriously threatened as we were by the Soviet Union (and they by us) in 1962. Paul calls us, however, to try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness. In doing so, we may find relationship in places we could not imagine and outcomes better than we ever thought possible – even as we still admit that no one is perfect!