Tuesday, December 10, 2002

For the Kairos Guy, Peter of Sursum Corda, Fr. Jeff Keyes, and all the others of St. Blogs who fret and weep over their bishops, or over Cardinal Law....

As you-all already know, I've taken my share of flack over in Amy's boxes for not denouncing the retired bishop for whom I've been interceding for the past 25 years; so I do have the knowledge of being where the feeding frenzy is.

I was doing research through Google last night on a completely unrelated topic when Google brought up this link, to a Capuchin friar named Alexis somewhere in this neighborhood [he uses the same very local isp I do]. That's all I know about him, except for this homily, preached on May 26, the first Sunday after our local debacle began. I, of course, don't agree with everything Fr. Alexis writes, but some of it is very wise . We have responsibility to honor and care for our bishops, just as they have a duty to honor and care for us. Do we follow through?

In part, Fr. Alexis writes:

First Reflection:
A wounded shepherd
In the gospel of St. Matthew, Jesus, the good shepherd, says to his disciples, “You will all fall away because of me this night; for it is written `I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be dispersed’” (Mt 26: 31). Rembert, the shepherd, has been stricken. In the gospel of St. Luke, Jesus tells the parable of a good shepherd who has a hundred sheep and one of them strays and gets lost. The shepherd goes in search of the one that’s lost and when found, he rejoices, he hoists the found sheep upon his shoulders and carries it home. Then he invites friends and neighbors to celebrate with him. Jesus ends that parable with these words, “I tell you there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine self-righteous and respectable people who have no need of repentance” (Lk 15: 4-7).

When a sheep gets lost and the shepherd finds it, he hoists it upon his shoulders and carries it back home. We now ask, when the shepherd gets lost, who shall hoist him on their shoulders and carry him home? How do we now respond? Do we let the media lead us by the nose and determine how we shall respond? Do let the whole legal system with its lawyers and plaintiffs determine how we shall respond? Do we let political correctness at this moment determine how we shall respond? Or do we respond with gospel correctness. Do we respond as a Christian community responds? Do we hoist the wounded shepherd on our backs and carry him home? Or do we throw him away?

Every day we get fed the press -- the New York Times or the Boston Globe. But the press community is not a religious community. Every day we get fed now the legal system. But the legal system is not a religious community. At the end of the day, and after all is said and done, for the most part they are financial communities. It’s simply Capitalism turning every thing it touches into gold. That’s not a bid for Communism. That’s not even a criticism; it’s simply the name of the game. Is there no one these days to remind us that we are a religious community? Is there no one these days to call us to respond as a religious community?

Father in Heaven, Shepherd of our souls, this is a moment of truth for us, your flock. Give us the courage to rise up now to our identity as a community of faith, love and forgiveness. Give us strong shoulders at this moment to carry the weight of political incorrectness, of being out of step. Give us compassionate shoulders at this moment to bear the weight of a wounded shepherd, for we are all well aware of our own wounded-ness. In peace, let us pray to the Lord. -- Lord have mercy.

Yes, Lord, have mercy. Do not allow us to give up or to lose heart.

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