“The Buck Stops Here”

Popularized by former US Pres. Harry Truman with a sign on his desk, “The Buck Stops Here,” the phrase means the person owns the responsibility which is not passed on beyond that point.

The first reading in the Liturgy of the Word today is about the stoning of Stephen by the Jewish mob at the behest of the Jewish leaders, and with the approval of Saul. Before Stephen died, he said a prayer to God in a loud voice for his executioners: “‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them!’ Having said this, he fell asleep.” (Acts 7:60)

Evil is spirit that needs a human soul, mind and body to perpetuate itself. An aggression, violence, war, pillage, murder, etc. continues and is passed on from one person, family, clan, or nation to another, until it is stopped in its tracks. Violence may take on different forms, eras, and personalities but is basically the same face of evil.

What power can dissipate and dissolve evil?

Forgiveness. It is the only power by which evil is transformed and finally stopped in its tracks. It is darkness transformed into light.

By the prayer of forgiveness cried out by Stephen before he died, Saul was transformed into an Apostle for the Gentiles.

Sometimes, the greatest power is not strength. It is yielding through gentleness.

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