Monday, 10 October 2016

Biblical Discrimination

In the first reading of this morning, we hear St Paul compare the Christians to the children of the "free-wife" and not the "slave-born".  As I was reading the passage aloud during the Mass, I felt a bit odd and offensive.  Somehow I did not like the disparaging way Paul was speaking of Hagar.  Not only that the way he was segregating those born of Hagar, that too for no fault of theirs, was not something I found decent.

Know not in what actual context Paul was trying to make this point but the idea of one being supreme or better than another because you are born of one woman and not so good or of lower quality just because you are born of another, is not fair.  Perhaps it has something to do with what struck me last night. A mother is a mother - anywhere in the world.  A woman has the same love and affection for the child just as another mother. The modes of expression or degree may vary, but no one can discount the love a mother has for her child.

Getting back to the reading, one cannot and should not hold Hagar or least of all, her children responsible for any wrong-doing.  That she did not continue in the plan of God for Israel does not make her or her offspring bad.  What's more, Yahweh is said to have offered her some means of survival and life.

Why should we human beings feel envious (or claim any other virtue) and then attribute God of having chosen us, above others?  

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