We have a regular web reader in Arizona who each week searches our website for doctrinally disturbing information. This week he found a link, off a link, off a link, which was pro-abortion. Therefore in his eyes so are we. This is the message he sent to Cardinal Keeler’s office in Washington D.C. who reported it to our Chancery who reported it to yours truly for response. I checked, there was also an article on UFOs, which I believe in, although I am not sure whether St. Joan’s does. Of course, I do not promote or believe in abortion. I got rid of the link.
I sincerely hope this person has someone he loves who loves him back and this ardent research is for the good of the church. I would hate to think this person does this out of bitterness and a need to flex his feelings of powerlessness by jerking us around with Kafkaesque ecclesiastical torture.
Jesus understood this quite well. The Pharisees with the sincerity of a snake, test him on divorce. What he tells them is nothing new. We know this because our first reading from Genesis tells us the same thing. Marriage is not a contract, people are not commodities that you buy or sell. Marriage is a covenant, freely entered into which at its best should model the covenant between God and his people. It is a choice made each day and renewed constantly, and constantly under stress. It is a blessed thing. Why else would we mourn it so intensely when it falls apart? It is truly a death when a marriage ends in divorce or seething resentment.
The antithesis of the Pharisees’ need to suck the life out of everything holy is the child. For relief from the Pharisees’ cynicism Jesus asks the little children to come to him. They in their innocence and undifferentiated egoism still believe it is all about loving them and loving back. It will take years of the cynicism and abuse of adults to teach them otherwise. In the children Jesus still finds hope.
Jesus did not dispute the law of the Pharisees but their intent. Jesus came to fulfill the law; meaning the law of love would flow so strongly from the heart, that the written law would not be a restriction, but arise naturally from the respect we show each other. Sadly, we are not there yet; it is a continuous struggle. Luckily the Holy Spirit still coaxes the child in us towards faith, hope and love.
Finally, a question no one ever asked me in all my preparation for priesthood and ministry: Do you really like people?