My motto …“Be happily and uncomplicatedly Catholic.”
Michael J. Sheehan Archbishop of Santa Fe
If Christ Returned, Would We Kill Him Again?
In the Nicene Creed when we recite at Mass, we confirm our belief that “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead”. The Mormons proclaim it’s already happened because (they believe) after Christ’s resurrection, He spent time somewhere in Central America with the Nephites, an ancient tribe who moved there in 589 BC and were wiped out in 385 AD by their brother tribe, the Lamanites. He also made brief visits with Mormon Church leaders in 1898 and 1918. We Catholics and Protestants haven’t been so fortunate in being favored with these awaited returns.
But, when it happens for us, how do you think it will happen? It will have to be a spectacle of great magnitude to confirm that He is not another of the phonies who have claimed: “I am He!” Even if it is a 1000 miles celestial show of lights, scientists will claim it is a freak of nature, and agnostics say it was imagined by mass hysteria.
But, assuming His return as a human is accepted as truth, how would He get across His message? Before, when communication was only by word of mouth, He taught and preached in a local synagogue which was the only religious place in town. Today, He would have to decide between the Catholics, Mormons, and the 20,800 worldwide Protestants churches. Or perhaps he would want to have another try in a synagogue. Whatever choice he made would be the cause of resentment from those not chosen.
I am afraid the joy of his return would be short lived. The major broadcasters would fight over who deserved the most coverage and dig up skeptics to spice things up. Our 94,500 multi-millionaires will go to desperate means of discrediting His criticism of our misbalance of wealth.
He might give discomfort to the rest of us when He makes us aware of our short-comings. I can’t see His getting support from any of the 37 fat money PACs that want control ofAmerica. Instead, they would view Christ as a dangerous and radical socialist rebel, attempting to overthrow the government. In haste, they would fund the Madison Avenue truth-twisters to poison His message (and likely Him).
So, if Christ were to ask me if He should now make His return, my advice would be “No, wait awhile.”
Let me have your thoughts about this, and I’ll print them in the next issue. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
“Why Fight Same-Sex Marriage?” by Douglas Farrow, Professor of Christian Though at Mc Gill University in Montreal.January-February Touchstone