And I find that it is impossible to miss the fundamental message in the weekly Gospel. It is what I will call responsibility, in the sense of accountability. It's really quite, quite striking.
- We are responsible for the poor and the sick. They may be with us always, but we are expected to care for them, to feed them, to bind their wounds, to cure them if we can.
- We are responsible for the stranger among us, and by providing him hospitality, we discover he is no stranger after all. We are all one, there is no them and us.
- We are responsible for our jobs, to carry out our duties honestly and dependably-- and this includes paying our share of taxes.
- We are responsible for loving all those around us, not judging them, turning the other cheek, and forgiving as many times as necessary.
- We are responsible in turn for admitting our own wrong and seeking forgiveness, when we do wrong ourselves. And we should try to avoid doing wrong.
- Finally we are responsible for being generous in every way: generous in what we think of others, generous in how we live, generous in how we share our possessions. The bravest among us may give up worldly things to live this out more completely because possessions matter least compared to all the rest.
So, I ask you, how can our politicians, particularly those on the right, claim the mantle of Christianity with such fervor when they appear to be unable to hear what it actually says?
There's nothing there about enriching plutocrats, seeking power, or waging war. There's nothing there that can justify eviscerating health care, education, or aid to the poor. Nothing that allows telling lies or demonizing the opposition. Nothing that justifies a Them vs Us, rather than a We.
Or perhaps they just aren't hearing the same Gospel I am.