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All who take the sword will perish by the sword

Brent Modak | Tuesday, May 3, 2011

This past Sunday was Divine Mercy Sunday. It was a day to reflect and give thanks for God?s mercy. It was a day in which we remember how Christ, while nailed to the cross, did not curse his oppressors. On the contrary, Our Lord cried out, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Until his last breath, Jesus forgave; he showed mercy. It is for this reason that I was saddened to see Notre Dame students celebrating the death of Osama bin Laden in such an immature manner.

While bin Laden was a man responsible for one of the most tragic events in this nation’s history, he was still a human being. Notre Dame administrators and students alike pride themselves in their “pro-life” position. Unfortunately, it appears pro-life only means anti-abortion. A true pro-life position values all life, not just the innocent. We as Christians should never praise death. Death is something that is always regrettable no matter the circumstances.

We ought also to remember Christ’s words to Peter in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus told Peter to put his sword away at the last critical moment. If ever there was ever a justifiable reason to resort to violence it was to save the Son of God. But Christ commanded the exact opposite, “Put your sword back into its sheath, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword” (Mt. 26:52). Christ’s words here are telling of what abiding in His Spirit means.

My position here is not that bin Laden was not a man who committed heinously evil actions. Nor am I saying he did not deserve to be brought to justice. My argument is that we should think before we act. Would Jesus Christ have planned a party celebrating someone’s death? I think not. Therefore, I cannot in good conscience do the same. If celebrating in another human being’s death is patriotism, then I wear the title “unpatriotic” with pride and I urge my fellow Notre Dame students to do likewise. Peace and God Bless.

Brent Modak


off campus

May 3