The Tower of Siloam (Luke 13: 1-9)
Here Jesus Christ described the event of the fall of the Tower of Siloam that killed eighteen people. He asked His hearers whether the people killed were worse offenders than the others in Jerusalem. He also described the events in Galilee where Pontius Pilate had just murdered several people. He also asked the same question as to whether those killed were worse sinners that other people in Galilee.
Christ’s words are still pertinent today and indeed more so than ever. We can indeed ask the same questions today as to whether those who die in natural disasters are worse people than those who do not or whether those who live under some sort of oppression are worse sinners than those who live in “free” societies.
There is a uniform enslavement to sin and we are all as guilty as the other person. We hear of natural disasters and so-called “Acts of God” but because these have become an almost everyday phenomenon, we shrug our shoulders and forget all about it. What should normally induce reflection becomes another superficial topic for discussion that does not even last for a minute. It is brushed under the carpet with the sigh that, “well, it is just another natural disaster”.
Jesus answered this question by saying no, these are not worse sinners than the others but that unless we repent we will all likewise perish. What does this tell us, however? This does not even require any interpretation. It is clear that we are just as guilty as those who died in those natural disasters and we will definitely share the same fate if we do not change our customary way of living in time.
These “natural disasters” then should not just be shrugged off but must be taken as warnings to those left to change their ways in time. Otherwise, since we are just as guilty as those who have been killed, then it is just a matter of time before our own turn will come to share in the same fate.
That is just the question then. Only a matter of time. It is then a question of taking turns to receive back the seeds of evil that we have all sown in the beautiful gardens of this Creation. The seeds germinate, grow, mature and we must reap all the consequences of our actions when the harvest time is due. Those who died in these natural disasters were hit by the fate which they had created for themselves. We also have the same fate awaiting us and unless we change our ways then we must indeed share the same fate. We must perish just like these other people.
The time that we still have left must then be used to change ourselves for the better so that we can then change our fates. Once our volitions change for the better, then the good that we do will form a protection around us so that when the evil reactions return to us as they must do in any case, they bounce off and we then redeem the guilt with some symbolic action or the other. We should realise that it is not just natural disasters but all manner of fates affecting individuals or groups
Speed therefore is of the essence, we have no more time left unless we want to perish, we must take these disastrous events as warnings and make the effort to change our ways.
How do we change our ways, however? We have hitherto lived only a materialistic life, thinking of nothing else but that the accumulation of material wealth or honours is the purpose of life. In the pursuit of this goal, we turned our gazes away from God. We harmed our neighbours and subjugated everything on our paths in order to achieve these goals. We harmed our environments and introduced chaos into the order of the Laws of Creation.
Nothing, however, goes unaccounted for in this Creation. The chaos that we introduced through turning away from the Laws of God will not go unpunished. All the harm that we have done to Creation will not go unaccounted for. Through our volitions, we have introduced distortions into our natural environments. These distortions, through the Power of God that has now penetrated here must be righted. This is leading and will continue to lead to the natural disasters we witness everyday. Also in the terrible fate of individuals and entire groups.
Everything is all wrong; the family life, marriage, education and so on. Everything was built up without taking the Laws of God into consideration. We simply acted as we saw fit for ourselves without asking God for direction. Because human self-will is what has been responsible for much of the chaos, it must now be broken in the Judgment. This will then lead to serious consequences for the individual, the institutions and society as a whole. Cries of anger and fear will be the result with curses and blasphemous utterances everywhere.
We should take care that we do not allow ourselves to delay for so long as to allow the full weight of the terrible fate awaiting us to hit us in full strength. We should work hard to at least diminish this fate. We must note that nothing can really be prevented anymore. It is far too late for that. We have wasted the last opportunity for turning back. It is now a question of reducing the severity of our suffering through the most ardent constant volition for the good.
The repentance that Jesus mentioned has nothing to do with the prevalent blind faith of most religions, but here He meant true repentance in the knowledge of all the Laws of Creation and the strict adherence to these Laws. The Laws that He explained in His Teachings and that He died for are what we must adhere to absolutely. This has nothing to do with automatic washing away of sins without working towards the righteousness that He advocated.
We should therefore never look in disdain or arrogance on those who are now suffering. We share the same fate as these people and it is only a question of time before we too have to go through our own Judgment.