Keystone Cops in Jerusalem

The Sanhedrin officiously dispatched their court officers. The armed guards made their sword-jangling way to the jail—only to find that the incarcerated Apostles had mysteriously gone missing from behind locked gates. They marched back to the chamber and bumbled through their report.

A Keystone Cops episode in ancient Jerusalem. The angel of God managed to turn the jealous and hateful Sadducees into the Three Stooges.

Meanwhile the intrepid Apostles took their place to tell people about this life. The angel told them to. “Take your place, and tell people everything about this life.” The Lord gives us the same instruction. Take your place. Tell people everything about this life.

Okay. Take my place. Do I know what my place is? The place where God wants me to be?

Sometimes this question can get tricky. But if I start with: He wants me right here, right now; He wants me in His Church; He wants me to be faithful to the duties I have undertaken; He wants me doing good and avoiding evil—if I start with these immediate basics, then the question of where I belong can become less intimidating.

This question has crucial importance of course—the place I am to take. After all, telling people everything about this life is not an easy job.

First of all, we need to know which people to tell. With seven billion people in this world, neither you nor I can tell them all. When each of us takes his or her place, though—then we find the people we are supposed to focus on. At which point we then proceed to tell them everything about this life.

This life with God. This life of hope and love. This life of giving ourselves over to help others.

This life aimed at something greater than the world offers. This life that demands self-sacrifice and mortification of the flesh. This life that promises the only real blessedness—the blessedness of virtue, holiness, and eternal life.

How could we possibly tell people everything about this? After all, St. John reports in his gospel that the world could not contain all the books that could be written about the glorious works of the Lord Jesus Christ.

But we can make a start. Maybe we can obey the angel’s instruction by telling all the people we know that the best place for them to take would be a seat in church with us. We don’t claim to know God’s will for everyone. But we know this much: We love everybody, and we want everybody in our Church with us.

2 thoughts on “Keystone Cops in Jerusalem

  1. Father Mark,

    Knowing where I am and why God put me here may well be one of those questions that proves that in scientific investigation, the investigation, itself, effects the outcome. In this case, KNOWING is almost impossible once your premise is answering WHY and WHAT. Poor mortals that we be, our best hope is to ACCEPT that we are because he wants us to BE, and that his will for us will become apparent in our ACTIONS, when we conduct ourselves in accordance with his WORD, and with the GOD-GIVEN physical, emotional, mental and spiratual GIFTS he has given us.

    Regarding, whom we might invite in, the quasi-negative construct might prove most fruitful. We only want to reject those that we know God has rejected. Failing to KNOW that, it would be prudent to accept all as His creation, and his beloved — and treat them accordingly.

    In God we trust.



  2. Not many months ago, the disciple that Jesus loves was an observer in our local courtroom. A poor man, obviously depressed, was called before the presiding judge. The man was cited with a minor traffic infraction. He apologized; the judge fined him. The man said he had no money to pay and could he be excused from it please. The judge said “yes..after all you can’t get money out of a turnip.” The man hung his head lower; the judge watched him leave the courtroom. Who went home to a reward of a good supper and a comfortable home? Who did Jesus love? Which man?

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