For the Love of Christ
Today is the feast of Saints Simon and Jude (the Obscure). In this morning’s homily, Father said some things which got me thinking.
Matthew and Simon were two of Jesus’ Apostles. Two more unlike persons would be hard to find. Matthew was a Tax Collector (actually, a “tax-farmer”) for the Roman Empire, and Simon was a Zealot, pledged to driving the Romans from Judea. Worlds apart in politics, but both were united in love of Christ. Can our modern Matthews and Simons say the same – that they are united in love of Christ?
Is this not an indication the Gospel – and the Church – are beyond Left/Right, Establishment/Rebel, Traddie/Trendie? Is it not as sign to us the ardent heresy hunters on all sides are in sober fact, sinners in need of conversion? Is it not a sign that one can become so blinded by pandering to one’s fellow-thinkers and followers, one can lose sight of Christ in taking glee at the discomfort of one’s co-religionists who think differently?
I have a hard time detecting charity in Father Z’s remarks. Or in the comments of his fans. It is frankly, as disturbing as any other scandal of the Church, and there are other things as well. He has a “store”, selling merchandise, of which two items stand out.
Somehow this does not seem very Catholic. More Motorcycle Gangster. (Or, it could be my own cultural prejudices frothing out of control.)
And, then there’s this. Can one go so far as to take profit from mocking one’s leader, to whom one has sworn submission?
To be absolutely fair, three things must be remembered.
First, that Z’s column here is neither the worst, nor does this sort of thing happen only on one side.
Second, Z has said a lot of good things, and I have learned as much from his writing as I have from any Catholic blogger. I am picking on him because a) I am familiar with his stuff, and b) I really think he could do a lot better (but – couldn’t we all?)
Third, and most important, Z is a priest, from whose hands we receive Christ, at whose hands we receive absolution, and from whose hands we are anointed for healing.
We all can get so short-sighted with our daily concerns, and with “politics”, that we forget the weightier matters. We forget that “politics” are ephemeral as the wind, and that only eternal things matter in the long run. (Not that we should ignore what’s in our daily lives. We were put into the world for a purpose, after all. Only, we should keep a Heavenly perspective on what we are doing.)
Pray for your priests. Especially that they will not seek popularity.
And for all those who let differences separate and anger them.