Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Same As It Ever Was

Jesus said he did not come to bring peace, but a sword.  He said he came to set son against father, and daughter in law against mother in law (in the days when daughters left home at marriage to live with the in-laws).

He said he came to fulfill the law, and not a stroke of it would be set aside until it was fulfilled.  He told the Syro-Phoenician woman that he couldn't offer food to the dogs until he had fed the children (who were only slightly above the dogs) first.

Jesus said "let the children come to me."  Jesus said he'd come to pronounce liberation to the captive, and sight for the blind.  He welcomed the woman who washed his feet with her tears and dried them with her hair.  He said humankind was not made for the Sabbath, but rather the Sabbath was made for humankind.  He let his disciples eat on the Sabbath by picking food from the trees (work!).  He chased the money-changers from the Temple because they were exploiting the people who came to Temple, not because they were changing money from coins with the image of Caesar on them (idolatry!) to coins acceptable to God (without images of humankind, made in the image of God, whose image cannot be reproduced).

Pope Francis insists he's not a liberal theologian.  He is opposed to liberation theology.  He has not changed Church doctrine on abortion, same-sex marriage, or divorce.

He preaches mercy.  He puts people first.  He washes the feet of women, Muslims.  He condemns capitalism which makes an idol of money, and ranks people below dollars.

He is not Christ, but he is doing his best to be Christlike, as he understands that telos.  And it is his spirituality that people are responding to:  not his politics, not his dynamic and unilateral changes in Church law or teaching; not his personality and personal charm, not his charisma.

Or perhaps it is his charisma, his charism, that people are responding to.

He is a person of God; and that is what confounds people, even as it draws people to admire him, to listen to him, to notice him.

Interesting how that happens, and everyone says they hear the voice of God, or just hear thunder.

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