Letters from Antioch The Thesis statement and the first three particulars


In the rules of rhetoric, there is something called, “The General, The Particular, and The General. A particularization in another verse may restrict a general principle or, a general principle may extend a particular rule.

Mt. Rose near Truckee California

Salvador came to Truckee California to give the general principle. Truckee is where he grew up. On one occasion near his birthday in late December, according to his custom he went into church on Sunday. There was snow on the ground and it was cold.

A Christmas tree stood in front of the church and Salvador brushed up against it as he stood up to read. The altar server handed him the Lectionary. Salvador turned it to the great prophet from of old, Isaiah. He turned a few pages and found the passage he was looking for.

Salvador recited, “The Whittling Spirit of the Almighty is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring delightful news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to The Mighty Savior.’[1] Isaiah 61: 1-2.”

Closing the Lectionary, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of all in church looked intently at him.

The Statue of Liberty, showing the broken chains of our release from slavery

Salvador informed them, “With the Blessed Virgin our mother of Exiles, we cry from her beacon-hand, ‘The Spirit of the Mighty Savior is upon me, because he anointed me to bring delightful news to the poor.’ Pop did not call anyone, to tell other people how to lead their lives, or how they should follow my morality or your morality. He sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recover sight to the blind, to lead exemplary lives and not of moralize, to allow the oppressed go free, and proclaim a year acceptable to Pop.”

Salvador quoted the words on the Statue of Liberty, “The Blessed Virgin glows worldwide welcome; it is her mild eyes that command, ‘Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she with silent lips. Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Salvador related to us, “I am the body of Christ. You will be the body of Christ. Today this passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”

People murmured in the pews, “This Salvador is amazing. Listen to the kind words that came from his mouth. Homilies will no longer going to be about a couple of right wing issues. They are going to be about creating a world where the presence of The Mighty Savior would want to dwell.”

Salvador added, “That includes the respect of people as created in the image of The Mighty Savior, the creation of a living wage, dignity in the work place and in the home. They will be about the whole teaching of the Mighty Savior.”

God cares about each and every one of us as a person created in his image.

The people asked, “Isn’t this the son of Joseph?”

Salvador informed them, “Surely you will quote me this proverb, ‘Doctor, cure yourself,’ and say, ‘Do in your home town like we hear were done in Incline Village.”

Salvador gave us the first particular, “I am telling you, “The native place of no proclaimer of the divine truth has ever accepted that speaker of the word. Indeed, I tell you, there were many proper Victorian women at the turn of the last century, but The Mighty Savior did not send the prophet Samuel Gompers to help them. Instead, the Mighty Savior started the movement Samuel Gompers led, to help the outcast immigrants who had come from across the sea.”[2]

Salvador gave the second particular, “There were many ailing middle class proper people in America during the time of Martin Luther King Jr.; and many of them are now clean of their racist past, but only a few in the black community gave him the thanks he deserved. One of these was Hermoso, a great general in the Mexican army.”

Salvador gave us more of this particular, “He is the father of Hermosa[3], the mother in law of Ruth, who gave birth to Jesse, who gave birth to the beloved ruler, David,[4] John-of-God,[5] son of Al Vey the choicest. The proper, neo-Victorian white communities never recognized the proclaimers of the divine truth sent from Pop. The message is opposed to their special interests.”

This is the third particular, “When the people in church heard this, the message filled them all with fury. They yelled, ‘How dare this man tell us that the Mighty Savior did not come to give us a middle class life style? How dare this son of a working stiff tell us that the Mighty Savior came for the people from the other side of the railroad tracks?”

Salvador gave us more information about this particular, “They also grumbled, “We want a teacher who will teach morality. We want someone who will keep riff-raff in their place, and obedient to us.”

The parish rose up, drove Salvador out of the town, led him to a busy highway, and pushed him into traffic. Salvador did not fall, however. He looked each person in the eye and asked, “Do you accuse me? Are you the person to give that first push?”[6]

Because nobody accused Salvador in person, he passed through the middle of the crowd.


[1] Midrash Rabbah, Deuteronomy/Lamentation, Chapter 3,  p209-10, Rabbi Dr. H. Freedman, B.A., PH.d. The Soncino Press, New York

 

 

[2] I Kings 17:7-24

[3] Naaman is the masculine form of Naomi, the mother-in-law of Ruth.

[4] I Samuel 17:12 David is Hebrew for “Beloved,” and can be a title. Ephrata is the Semitic form of “Fruitful, Pharat, fruit. Bethlehem in the Semitic form is Beth Lechem, or house of bread.

[5] II Samuel 21:19 “Elhanan” is two words, John, or gracious, and “El” “God,” “Jaare,” is related to Jarius, to see. Jarius, is the rich man who asks Jesus to go to his daughter to heal her. Oregim is the superlative form of Oreg, to be choice.

[6] Deuteronomy 17:5-6

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