Went to Mass this Sunday, as expected and required. It was a beautiful service, attended by beautiful people, especially the children, all attired in their Easter finest. Happy thoughts and good feelings all around, but what has this to do with our daily lives in the unequal world we inhabit?
I don’t know if Jesus was actually, physically resurrected. As some might say, that’s “beyond my pay grade.” I do know, however, that Jesus hated inequality and actively preached and worked against it. He came from a crummy little town in a “shithole country,” as Donald Trump would say. He was a tekton, a skilled worker with contingent employment at low pay. If, like the vast majority of common people in Galilee, he was probably illiterate, with no prospects of social mobility. He witnessed the crushing taxes and land seizures of the Jewish nobility under Roman rule, while Herod built a luxurious new capital on the backs of the poor, just down the road in Sepphorus.
Yes, Jesus hated economic inequality. He preached “you cannot love both God and money;” “Blessed are the poor;” “It is harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle” etc. He healed the sick and broken and fed multitudes out of thin air. Virtually all His sympathies and actions were directed at the poor majority and against the rich and powerful, who rewarded Him by hanging him on a cross between two bandits (rebels).
Jesus promised to change all that, to inaugurate a new Kingdom of God, where “the last will be first and the first will be last.” Yet it didn’t happen, not then or now. It’s still the same shitty, unequal world, where the rich and powerful grind the poor and vulnerable into the dust. Frankly, I’m not sure I can forgive Him for that – for not changing things during his lifetime or returning again, as the Church always promises, to set things right. No, instead He’s left it in our hands, poor broken vessels that we are, to work toward a more just, equal world. Are we up for the challenge?