Extrajudicial killing (EJK) has been practiced since earliest times, in different forms, from the killing of Abel to the massacre of enemies in the time of David all the way to present time with the killing of people because of race, religion, sexual orientation, politics and injustices going on in Africa, the Middle East, Asia etc. This is a scourge that a Christian and supposed civilized culture should never adopt.
To rise above EJK, we offer extrajudicial kneeling. Yes, we return to God, to prayer for the enlightenment of our leaders and our people about the sense of justice and respect for life. We kneel to ask God for forgiveness for our indifference, for conversion, for renewal, primarily in our personal lives—as well as those of our leaders, people, communities and country. We who believe need to set the example of our convictions regarding the power of prayer and contemplation.
We need to heal one another, our society, and our culture of the negative and paralyzing fear, helplessness, and the disgust that have overpowered us. We need to pray for the healing of the victims and their families, and the perpetrators of the injustices that we are suffering. We do extrajudicial kneeling to soften the hearts of people who indirectly subscribe to “a-tooth-for-a-tooth” kind of justice, just as the heart of Pharaoh would be touched by the appeal of Moses and Aaron to set their people free. I do not doubt for a moment that those who commit EJKs go to bed with peace in their conscience and heart. Yes, they only follow orders, but following orders that destroy makes one an accomplice and incur the same guilt and punishment.
Kneeling and healing are extrajudicial, because we do not judge nor condemn, but we offer compassion and mercy. If we will not heed the God of Goodness and Compassion, then the plagues will follow unless we return to the Lord and change our ways. Yes, God loves us, but when we become unruly, stubborn, proud and cruel to one another, he will chastise us and bring us to our senses in a way we will never forget. May we overcome EJK by extrajudicial kneeling and healing. May the Lord give us peace.
ANTONIO MARIA ROSALES, OFM, [email protected]