October 19, 2014
A stretch limo full of politicians was taking a back route down a two-lane country road late at night, when it ran into a bad storm, slid off the wet pavement at high speed, flipped over a few times, and finally crashed into a tractor in the middle of a field.
The owner of the farm heard the noise and went out to see what happened. After checking out the scene, he used the tractor to bury the passengers.
The next afternoon the county deputy was passing and saw the wrecked limo, which had been reported as missing. He asked the farmer what happened, and the farmer let him know he’d buried all the politicians.
The deputy asked, “Were you certain they were all dead?”
“Well,” said the farmer, “a few of them claimed they weren’t, but you know how you can’t believe a word they say.”
The statement of this farmer would be controversial but so too was our Jesus a man of controversy. It wasn’t his business but he picked up a cord to expel greedy merchants from his Temple. He was concerned not merely with the souls of people but their bodies as well. Why else would he perform miracles to feed them when they were hungry, cure them when they were sick, and help them make a living by pointing out where the fish were hiding out in the lake?
If one listens to contemporary politicians, one often gets the impression that God has died and left them in charge and Jesus Christ turned his back on the moral questions in politics. They arrogantly act as though Jesus has left them in total control. Sorry to the people from our parish, who are involved in politics, you are great!
So, to say that "give Caesar what is Caesar's and God what is God's" confines the Church and priests to very narrowly defined spiritual matters is a bad reading of the Gospels. Christians who ask critical moral questions in whatever area take their stand with the Master, Jesus. The history of the past proves that Caesar is often wrong.
It is the Church's job to demand that justice come raining down like water. It is the politicians' job to fix the plumbing.
Raising moral questions will no doubt make us controversial. But if Jesus ran that risk, should not we?
Some people seem to believe Jesus was passing by a cross, jumped up, and committed suicide. In fact, the Teacher raised many questions which upset people. They murdered him so he would not disturb their consciences. It was his plan to disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. That should be our intent. We should be the most exciting people in the country. A good measuring rod is this. If everyone in our society agrees with us or we agree with everybody, we are doing something terribly wrong. It is time to examine our conscience. We must not take the strong message of Christ and turn it into weak tea.