Enjoy re-reading Fr. John's weekly bulletin letters for the past year.
Listening to the News you can’t help but hear things like: the economy is strong, unemployment is down, labor force participation rate is climbing, GDP is up and Stock Markets are very strong--------BUUUUT, in the same breath, the News reports, “there are signs the economy is cooling” or “recession is right around the corner, the whatever bubble is about to burst or the FED has to stave off hyper-inflation.” Jeez, talk about Debbie Downers. They want us all living on the edge of the Apocalypse. I guess so we will “stay tuned” for the next Armageddon. The Media just always has to be right even when they get it wrong. No “mea culpa’s”. The same can be said for the Weather Forecasters: today there is a 10% chance of rain. And then it doesn't rain and they can say, “well we told you it was only a 10% chance” or if it does rain, then they can say, “we told you there was a 10% chance of precipitation”. The media need you to believe that the apocalypse is nigh and it’s only a matter of time before we will be reduced to cannibalism or freeze or be boiled to death so that you will vote for their preferred candidates and espouse their radical chic doctrines and prove them right. Somehow it never occurs to them that if a man could rise from the dead, his power could have a dramatic effect on the trajectory of history, including the economy and the weather.
Google recently listed the Film, Unplanned, as a “Drama/Propaganda”. Really. How is a true-life story of the conversion of a woman who was a Planned Parenthood Abortion Clinic Manager to the Prolife side in anyway propaganda? (Google did change it after it got lots of blow back.) The media has a hard time with facts and the truth. Twitter also suspended the Film’s account. Their rational: “just because, that’s why, shut up”. How is it that a low budget film, with no big named superstars is such a threat to the media? The facts of the film like the facts of the economy just don't sync with the narrative you are sup-posed to believe that is being told to you by your superiors in the media. We all need to be a little more like Dorothy, Toto too and ignore the pleas to “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain”.
Two thousand years ago, whatever media was around, it tried to falsify the Resurrection of Jesus as well. “His disciples stole his body from the tomb” was a quick and easy way to dismiss the Resurrection. Except the facts proved otherwise. The High Priests anticipated that his disciples might steal his body to perpetrate a fraud so they went to Pilate and had the tomb sealed and guards posted outside it. Their cleverness actually undid the only plausible excuse they could have come up with about the disappearance of Jesus body. Despite the many excuses to deny the Resurrection of Jesus, either that he never really died, he was never placed in the tomb or that he escaped and lived happily ever after with Mary Magdalene, the Resurrection of Jesus persists to this very day. Why?
Because it is true. It happened. Denial can only suppress the truth for so long. But perhaps the greatest witness to the Resurrection is the fact that the small group of Jesus followers, who all fled in fear after his arrest couldn't shut up about his Resurrection a few days later and who were beaten and imprisoned because they wouldn’t say it was false. So much so that that small group of Jesus followers spread the Christian message throughout the Roman Empire and successfully converted it.
Jesus was the only person ever to successfully predict his death and resurrection and pull it off. That counts for a lot. It’s easy to claim there is a 10% chance of rain and then it rains or that the economy will go into a recession, it always does. But claiming you will be raised from the dead? A long shot if there ever was one.
We Christians who celebrate the Resurrection this Easter Sunday need to spread the joy and the happiness. After the Resurrection, the Jewish Temple would be torn down, stone by stone and Temple worship would end never to be restarted again, the Roman Empire would go into decline and collapse, Europe would suffer the Huns and Vandals, the Nordic invasions, a little ice age, the Islamic conquests and later on the Wars of Religion, the Thirty Years War, the Hundred Years War, WW I and II and on and on but the message of Jesus Christ would persist.
Will it persist in our age of doom and gloom and media propaganda and hyper surveillance and moral relativism? It will, if we, the followers of Jesus, make it known and keep making it known. Spread the joy this Easter, come rain or shine, recession or inflation, there is good news to report.
Jesus Christ is risen. All will be well.
Fr. John B.