Jesus’ mother asked him, “Son, for what reason have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great angst.” Jesus replied, “For what reason were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” He descended with them to Nazareth, and stood under them.”
We forget Jesus was from a Jewish family. This is not the only place with an insolent Jew in the Gospels. The first is Luke 1:46. Elizabeth, wife of the high priest and therefore a very rich woman has recently congratulated Our Blessed Virgin for the son she will soon bring into the world. While speaking to this very rich and powerful woman, Our Blessed Virgin says:
“My anima (The Latin is Anima or “animate,” “that which animates us”) proclaims the greatness of the Personal Name. My every breath (Spirit is Latin for breath) rejoices in the Almighty Judge my savior… He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones (Elizabeth is from the ruler class) but lifted up the lowly. The hungry he has filled with nobility; the rich (Elizabeth) he has sent away empty. He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy, according to his promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
This is a very crass thing to tell someone you want to take you in for the next three months.This is what our Blessed Virgin does. Mark 3 tells us, “Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside they sent word to him. A crowd seated around him related, “Your mother and brothers are outside, asking for you.” Jesus replied, “Who are my mother and brothers?” Looking around he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers.” This was a harsh thing to say about your immediate family, knowing they are outside, waiting. Then there is the story of the wedding at Cana. Jesus calls his mother, “Woman” and informs her how his time is not ready.
In each case, instead of becoming angry, Our Blessed Virgin “Keeps these things in her heart,” not her head, but her heart. In Luke 2:48 Jesus goes on to, literally from the Greek, stand under his mother. One of the first things we learn about our Blessed Virgin is her priorities. When people say similar things to what Our Blessed Virgin tells Elizabeth, they are revolutionaries and we put them in jails. Our Blessed Virgin appeals to a social heritage of being revolutionaries, the Hibernians with their group, the Molly Maguire, Joe Hill, Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Peter, Paul, and Mary, and more, much more.
Some say the church needs to focus on only one issue at a time, the pre-natal issue, with its several components, including birth control. What they forget is that issues do not exist in a vacuum. Five percent of the population accounts for 50% of all healthcare costs. These people come mainly from the poorest sections of the population.
The article, “Barbara debates Ken about the sound of silence part II,” relates how we failed over the past 40 years to pressure employers to pay a living wage. Instead, the article shows how using free market economics the percentage of income the poorest 50% of the population receives dropped from 27% in 1968 to 19% today. In the video, CNN points out, market based healthcare plans cost more than government-run programs.
Less than 20% of Americans regularly attend church. Seven reasons Catholics leave church, cites conservative politics as three of the reasons for church decline. By focusing on one issue, we not only lose lives, we lose souls. We depart from the message of our moral faith, Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:29, and Luke 10:25-37 to focus on an issue that is only indirectly in our Torah and Gospel. Where it is present, Deuteronomy 30:19, it is a Mitzvah to promote life in all of its potentiality, from conception to the grave, to its fullest, not just for the pre-born and not life at is most basic. Our Blessed Virgin learns her strong social Justice stand here.
Instead of other groups looking at our position and saying, “Gee, that issue is important to them, so if we fix their issue, maybe they will work on ours,” other groups make a caricature of our position, point the finger, and make fun of our position. They say, “Look how self-righteous and selfish those people are. They want us to work on their issue, but want to ignore our plight.” These are the very people Our Blessed Virgin taught Jesus to be the center of what would become our Christian faith.
The result is clear. So long as we focus on single issue politics, we do not solve our problem, or anyone else’s problem. We debate the same issues we debated in July of ’68 when Humanae Vitae arrived and in ‘73 with Roe V Wade. Roe V Wade came five years after Humanae Vitae. Focusing on only one issue did not solve the problem then, either.
Our Catholic Catechism, Section 2309, teaches 4 requirements for a fight to be just: “The damage inflicted must be lasting, grave, and certain.” The issues discussed in Humanae Vitae very much meet this criteria. “All other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective.” The fact that we have been debating these issues for 40 years and no end is in site shows our current approach is just that, “Impractical or ineffective.” Our fight does not qualify in this category.
“There must be serious prospects of success.” The last 40 years shows this is not the case with the current approach. We may well win the current court fights, but the underlying issues still remain, so the fight will continue, with a new crisis, then another, and then another.Our fight does not qualify in this category.
“The use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated.” We are losing souls and lives and poverty continues to grow. “The percentage of income the poorest 50% of the population receives dropped from 27% in 1968 to 19% today.” We are causing deaths and we are causing the living death of poverty, all in the name of pro-life. Our current fight does not qualify as a just fight in this category either.
We must ask, “Do we want to be debating the same issues forty years from now, or do we want to solve our issues?” The issue is not violence.
We must go back to the basics, as listed in, Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:29, Luke 10:25-37, and Deuteronomy 30:19. Only then, can we hope to resolve our issues and “their” issues, and go on to more pressing issue. Only then, will non-Catholic people cease to look at our churches as darkened rooms filled with pietistic people and become a dimly lit room with candles, flowers, nice scents, and a meal, more commonly referred to as a romantic dinner between the Bride of Christ and God. Only then will we become Church Triumphant.