View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Giving Jesus the Finger

At Mass yesterday morning at St. John‘s, Father preached about how the world challenges us as believers, and how those who try to uphold faith and morality will generally be subject to ridicule and attack by the world.

He gave some examples. One of them sounded familiar: People praying the Rosary outside Planned Parenthood being verbally confronted. That was the world fighting back, he said.

Later as we gathered at Planned Parenthood, several of us who were at the Mass talked about the fact that he was citing what had happened to us the week before when an agitated neighbor came over and tried to get us to stop praying, and even threatened to call in government help to get us to stop. We wondered how Father had heard about the incident, and whether the man would show up again.

Someone else showed up instead.

The eighteen of us standing across from Planned Parenthood began to pray the Rosary, the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and other prayers. Many of us were holding rosaries. One man was holding a large, clearly visible Crucifix.

After a while, a young woman, well-dressed, in a nice car, pulled up in front of us waiting for the light at the corner to change.

Without directly looking at us, she gave us the finger. She kept her digit up until the light changed.

Hello world.

My first thought was of St. Francis. He would celebrate whenever he was deemed “worthy” of being mocked, insulted, attacked and otherwise abused for the sake of the Kingdom.

I’m not as spiritually mature as the Seraphic Father. I can recognize the “blessing” I receive when I am targeted for the sake of the Kingdom, but not with the joy he had. Sometimes I grumble and bark back.

Maybe I'll get there with time.

But it also occurred to me that she must have seen the large crucifix one person was holding.

She was in effect giving Jesus the finger.

I suspect if you asked her she would have said she was not giving the finger to Jesus per se - she might even be horrified at the suggestion - that her gesture was directed at us. But then, “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me.”

That song paraphrases Matthew 24: 14-18. What we do for others, we do for Christ, and what we fail to do, we fail to do for Him.

Every day any time anyone is abused, mistreated, mocked, insulted, deprived, aborted, and so on, Jesus is likewise attacked.

By giving us the finger, she was giving Jesus the finger.

A finger is not the worst such attack, but it is an attack nonetheless.

And it adds to what Our Savior suffers for our sakes.

As for me, I need to remember not to focus on that woman with anger. I need to remember that that woman is my sister. That security guard who sits in his car week after week is my brother. The women (and the few men) going into Planned Parenthood are my sisters and brothers.

And the babies who die because of Planned Parenthood are not only my sisters and brothers, but also the sisters and brothers of Planned Parenthood's staff members, that security guard, that neighbor who yelled at us last week, and of that woman who gave us - and Jesus - the finger.


Blogger mindyz said...

very well said. I am also Catholic and pray as well at the Planned Parent Hoods here in our state. I have never thought about it before as "Giving Jesus the finger" Puts a diff. spin on one's thoughts. :c)

6:18 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home