As the Church, the Body of Christ, each of us baptized as priests, prophets, and kings, do we keep the worldly powers awake at night worrying about the truth we might unleashed upon the realm? Though fear can be a powerful motivator for getting the right thing done, we no longer rely on ecclesial knights and papal armies to threaten kings with the violence of heaven. In all the ways that truly matter, we have become more powerful by abdicating power, wealthier in abandoning wealth, and holier in surrendering the pretenses of an Imperial Church. But are we stripped bare enough to bring the prophetic word to those who would threaten what we have left? Christ warned his disciples that to be faithful to the end they could prefer nothing and no one before him. Anything and anyone we choose before we choose Christ is something or someone for us to lose when the king gets anxious about our truth-telling. Then, we are forced to choose again and again, each time we are called upon for the sake of unity, or fashion, or convenience, each time we are harangued to compromise or lie or cheat, we must choose. Christ or power? Christ or influence? Christ or celebrity? Christ or popularity? Christ or the family and friends?
The preacher, Qoheleth, infamously laments: “All things are vanity!” Futile, fleeting. For the Church, this is not a lament but an expression of hope. The Good News of Christ Jesus is no thing. Neither futile nor fleeting. And if we, his Body, are to be prophetic in a time of corrupt and violent power, we cannot flinch from speaking veritas in caritate, truth in love.
So, let me ask you: how do you think your head will look on a silver platter?
A personal note and as vague and general as I can communicate it while still making the point.
Things have been happening in my life that have not been fun of late, some of it my fault. Yet time and again, I'm seeing or hearing things from others, to include my most Godly priest, that have brought me a great deal of comfort, affirmation and validation, all of it timely, all of it most needed.
This from Fr. Powell I can now add to the list. He by the way ought to become a regular read.