June 1, 2016 - Karma

On this account I am suffering these things;
but I am not ashamed,
for I know him in whom I have believed
and am confident that he is able to guard
what has been entrusted to me until that day.

Paul’s Second Letter to Timothy 1:11-12

Jesus’s cousin, John the Baptist, is executed on a whim.  As Jesus is celebrating a last supper with his friends, he warns them that they too will be tortured and killed. The first deacon appointed by the apostles, St. Stephen, is promptly stoned to death.  Throughout Scripture, bad things happen to good people.   

In today’s passage, Paul is writing from prison in Rome, anticipating his execution.  He asserts that he is not embarrassed by this.  He does not expect God to rescue him from misfortune.  That is not part of his faith.   

Primordial religion believes that God or Karma rewards good behavior with good fortune and punishes bad behavior misfortune.  This reciprocity appeals to us on a deep level.  Abrahamic religion says the opposite – your behavior is irrelevant to God.    

Photo: Red Nebula