What would you die for? This question came to mind after a meeting that was organized here last week. A representative body of our regional Judeo-Christian Community requested a meeting with Senator Schumer’s office to convey our sentiment regarding the rising tide of anti-Semitism, Christian persecution, kidnapping and slaughter, and the deterioration of our relationship with Israel. We were to be 4 clergy and 4 laypeople. The good news is that 12 of us showed up to meet with the Regional Director and Deputy Director. The bad news is that the pastor who graciously hosted the meeting was the only member of clergy who managed to attend!
A very lovely woman well into her golden years and very familiar with many of the missing shepherds offered this excuse on their behalf; “They are focusing their ministry on saving as many souls as they can.” I respectfully disagreed. While I cannot pretend to know the heart of the individual, I know the body of clergy and it is despicably absent its mission. If that were not the case, and their focus was on truly saving souls, then seminaries wouldn’t be turning into golf courses, churches into health clubs and yoga centers, and church pews would be full on Sundays instead of half empty! The body of the shepherd has become afraid…it no longer believes. Good Sunday Morning Dear Friend!
My Body is a Booster Rocket!
One of many horrific scenes in what has become an endless parade, was of the 21 Coptic Christians marched onto a beach in Libya and beheaded for the eyes of the world to see. What I noticed on the faces of the martyrs was an almost stoic calm. I saw absolutely no fear in a single one of them…in their last seconds on earth! They knew to a man what our shepherds have forgotten!
I wonder if historians can actually hear societies speak to them. With all the fuss over childhood obesity, I wonder if there’s a narcissism meter as well as a fat meter to gauge this society compared to the societies of previous generations. Let’s face it, we have treated our bodies as glorified temples going back to days of Cleopatra…but we have never suffered the relentless assault modern technology has wrought to reinforce the soul-stifling notion that our physical experience is everything! Behold…the most tragic unintended consequence of all time!
My body is not everything. It is merely a vessel for everything…and nothing…at once. But the body is neither. It is 100% hallucination of the mind. And I can tell you after seeing a 17-year-old primping for her prom, her physical experience is the only experience!
So how exactly are our shepherds “saving souls” in this environment? What is their action plan? How do the young souls learn by watching them sit when they should stand, and silent when they should speak? Isn’t that sort of like attending a cooking class where the teacher tries to teach without actually cooking? How would you learn without the taste and aroma of the experience itself? I learned from the experience of spiritual exile while the NY Archbishop sipped champagne with the Oligarch! I learned who I really am…
My body is a booster rocket. It has one purpose and one purpose only; and that is to carry its payload successfully from the earthly pull of gravity that exists solely to contain it! The unenlightened booster thinks it is everything until the moment of separation. Many never make it out of the earth’s atmosphere, burning out, losing thrust, falling back…
But the ones who realize the payload and harness the opportunities created by every living moment of pain, suffering, failure and sorrow equal to the creature comforts will never lose thrust…until the heavenly moment they let go. This is the loving prayer every mother would have for her child…and every shepherd for his flock.
Note: I hope to have a full report of our meeting with the senator’s office, along with their response, in this space next week. God bless you!