Setting politics aside for the Kingdom

By George Evans

(George Evans is a retired pastoral minister and member of Jackson St. Richard Parish.)

What would Jesus do if He were living in the chaotic times we are in at present? I am taken back by the language and actions of our President. I lament his positions on health care, taxes, education, immigration and lack of respect for women. He and his party seem only to care for the richest top two percent in our country. Apparently the Russian involvement gets more complicated every day that passes. The Democrats tread water with no power in either the Congress or Executive Branch of government. If they have a plan or solutions they need to come forward with them. To get something done requires both parties to work together. They say they will, but they don’t. So our country languishes and the international dangers from the North Koreans and others continue to fester and stoke fear in all of us.
I found some hope in the Gospel from the Mass today (July 11) the Feast of St. Benedict. What a great saint he was and is. Its a shame he’s not around to write a “Rule” for the Congress and all the government as he did to profoundly impact monasticism for the last 1,500 plus years until today. He followed Jesus admonition in the Gospel of today’s Mass to go out into the harvest of the Master. He did more than just pray for laborers in the master’s harvest. He did it himself and sent out many more he trained and formed.
It struck me that too often we think that our times are such a mess and no one ever had to deal with anything so bad. But the Gospel read today sounds like a preview:
A demoniac who could not speak was brought to Jesus, and when the demon was driven out the mute man spoke. The crowds were amazed and said,
“Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” But the Pharisees said, “He drives out demons by the prince of demons.” (Mt: 9:32-33)
Here we have one group seeing and praising a miracle of great power and grace and an opposing group seeing the exact same thing and cursing it as an act of the devil to be scorned and condemned. Sounds like the difference between MSNBC and Fox News. Jesus simply continues with the work of his Father.
Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness.
At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. (Mt. 9:34-38)
Instead of cursing the darkness of the present situation, Republican and Democrat, perhaps we should do as Jesus did, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, reaching out to the sick and poor, taking care of the troubled and abandoned.
This is what he taught his disciples and that now includes us. St. Benedict did it. The disciples did it. Its now our turn to follow suit. If we do it and pray for and send out laborers for the harvest we will have done our part.
(George Evans is a retired pastoral minister and member of Jackson St. Richard Parish.)