For The Pilgrims of Jericho


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Dorothea Lange Photograph. FDA/LOC

This Sunday in the season of Lent, as Christians approach the sacred event of Easter (a Savior risen from the dead), I remind all of the activities–and story of assistance!–along the dangerous, crime ridden, violence prone, difficult and steep 25 km of the ancient Jericho Road where travelers andd pilgrims often journeyed in fear.

We recall the remarkable story of assistance rendered to one who had fallen prey to evil’s troubles; for good reason, crime and fear are close mates!

But the story teaches us we can not eliminate the crime, the behaviors of violence, the moral breakdown of robbery, our civil dissolution–unless we first let go the fear!

The Jericho Road story is well-known: a man traveling the dangerous 17-mile passage between Jericho and Jerusalem is jumped by a gang and falls injured, unable to help himself. Several see him injured and ignore him. One thing is clear: the victim is not their neighbor; not only a person not of their community, but also in the sense of ethical action. Fear stops the willingness to offer a hand to someone in need in times when danger threatens even good intent. (David Brooks ignores the real presence of fear.)

Take courage, all!

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