We do indeed need to show joy as Catholics.
My motto …“Be happily and uncomplicatedly Catholic.”
Michael J. Sheehan, Archbishop of Santa Fe
Some of your replies to: If Christ Returned, Would We Kill Him Again?
If Jesus returned today he would say….where are all the women priests? Why did you think I would have objected to women priests? And he would say it on Twitter, #jchrist2ndcoming.
I very much enjoy your blog. With all respect for your recent question about Christ’s return, I think you are framing it the wrong way.
1. True Christian believers accept that Christ is in fact already and always with us: in the Eucharist; in the spirit that infuses the best examples of Christians who live their faith lovingly; in the example of those who die in the name of love and justice for all.
2. Those who await a second coming of Jesus as a time of great reckoning and an exciting moment of catalytic change are mistaken: every day we wake up and have a chance to live as Christ taught us, we are in some modest way recreating Christ’s presence among us. The future is now; the second coming is today; and if we want it to be a joyous moment for everyone on earth, the responsibility sits squarely on our shoulders.
You are right that many negative forces conspire regularly to undermine the work of those who try to model Christ’s teachings. But you don’t need to speculate about what would happen to Jesus if he were walking the streets of the USA today. We can see countless examples, and each of them is a small reflection of the ongoing trampling of Christ:
– the slaughter of Christians who emulate the example of Christ, e.g. the murder of Jesuit priests in Central America in 1989 who were fighting for the rights of Christ’s most tenderly regarded group, the poor and oppressed.
– the systematic repression of defenseless populations, such as the Palestinians of Gaza and the non-violent reform-seekers of Syria who are being murdered daily as we watch passively
– the repression of freedom of religious expression (no matter what faith or denomination) in countries such as China
– the abusive misrepresentation of Christ’s teaching to bolster hateful speech and encourage marginalization and violence against homosexuals
– the insidious growth of a business-like mindset of “spin” and “public relations management” in corporate religious bureaucracies that leads to cover-ups of pedophilia in the Church. These scandals undermine the spiritual mission of the Church and help drive away the faithful in droves.
In closing, I’d encourage you to re-think your response to Christ if he asked you when he should make his return. I’d suggest you say: “Every day, we faithful are already pursuing lives that show the world that you never left us in the first place. That said, we need all the help we can get, and if you can bless our efforts with greater spirit and commitment, tell us how we can prepare for an infusion of your grace.”
Keep up the good work, and remember what Socrates said: “An unexamined life is not worth living.” Your contribution to the faithful is to keep us re-examining and questioning the true nature of our faith, and for that reason, I am genuinely thankful for your work.
As the German Benedictine nun, Sister Aemiliana Lohr, wrote, “We are all true Christs, members of the one Christ and witnesses to God.”
So, Christ returns to earthly being every time we joyful Catholics demonstrate our Faith.
Ernest Weber, Sacramento, CA
I quote from Francois Mauriac, the Nobel Prize winner who died in 1970: “Christ was a man; but he still is; he is always a man. He is always someone living, whose face we know, to whom we speak, and who speaks to us. The union of the least of Christians, if he be in the state of grace with the Word Incarnate is a union beyond all commentary.”
Mary Cohen, Dublin, Ireland
You are a kooky writer to have come up with this subject. Sure, “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.” So why does a wise-ass like you have to question it?
Jon Liotti, New York City, NY
Thanks you for having given me a great thought-provoker. It reminds me that Christ said he would be with two or three who gathered in his name. I think of this when I pray alone and sign in as “me, myself and I”, hoping to qualify as a threesome.
Piertro Choppa, Miami, FL
If Christ returned to the prosperous United States, he would give us a rough time in our race to the bottom with our lack of concern that 1 in 4 of our children live in poverty, and that 95% of our economic growth benefit only 1% of our fabulously wealthy citizens.
Ellen Mullen, Seattle, WA
The media loves to publicize bad priests, and we should give recognition to our Joyful Catholic Priests. Send me your recommendation for ones you think merit membership in this splendid group. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Fr. Robert Aufieri (New York, NY)
Fr. John M. Bauer (Minneapolis, MN)
Fr. Edmund Connors, Katonah, NY
Fr. Paul Duchsch(Fargo,ND)
Fr. Edward Gorman, O.P. (Providence, RI)
Fr. Andrew Gries (Washington, DC)
Msgr. Edward Filardi (Bethesda, MD)
Fr. Raymond Kemp (Washington, DC)
Bishop Joseph N. Latino (Jackson, MS)
Archbishop Jerome Listecki (Milwaukee, MN)
Bishop Dennis Madden (Baltimore, MD)
Fr. Joseph Marini (San Mateo, CA)
Msgr. Joseph Mayo (Salt Lake City, UT)
Fr. John Mericantante (Pahokee, FL)
Msgr. Thomas Modugno (New York,NY)
Fr. Kevin Nelson, (Lantana, FL)
Fr. John O’Donoghue (San Antonio,TX)
Fr. Antony Pulikal (Lntana, FL)
Fr. James R. Purfield (Denver,CO)
Fr. Paul S. Quinter (Pittsburg, Pa)
Msg. David Robichcaux, V.F. (New Orleans, LA)
Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi (Mobile, AL)
Msg. Paul L. Rohling (Birmingham, AL)
Fr. David Ross (Lima. OH)
Fr. Matthew Ruhl, S.J. (Kansas City, KS)
Fr. Michael Scanlon (Steubenville, OH)
Fr. Walter J. Szezesny (Buffalo, NY)
Fr. Richard Trout (Sanford, FL)
Fr. Hayden Vaverek (New York, NY)
Fr. Malcolm Sylvester Willoughby, O.P. (Washington, DC)
Canon Stuart Wilson (London, UK)
Fr. Michael Radermache, (Vancouver, WA)
Fr. Paul D.Counce (BatonRouge, LA