March 26, 2001
volume 12, no. 85
The Last Laugh

    Talk to someone about the ills of the world and the solution, chances are you'll be laughed at. Weep over the dead the current mind set has given us, and you'll be laughed at for being behind the times. Cry over the millions of unborn killed by abortion, and you're likely to be mocked for being closed minded and oppressive to women and their rights. Weep over the millions who are endangering their souls, and endangering their and others lives, and you're liable to be laughed at for being a prude, hateful, and too rigid. Openly declare you're faith in Christ and your loyalty to Him through His servant the Pope, and you're probably going to be laughed at as a 'Jesus Freak', a loser, etc.

    "Blessed are you that weep now, for you shall laugh….Woe to you that laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep" (Luke 6: 21; 25).

    There is so much beauty in this world, so much we have to be thankful for. But with that there is also great evil. Often in disguise, often in the guise of some greater good.

    Consider that Christ's death was brought about as a good.

    "Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him; but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council, and said, 'What are we to do? For this Man performs many signs. If we let Him go on thus, every one will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place * and our nation.' But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, 'You know nothing at all; you do not understand that it is expedient for you that one Man should die for the people, and that the whole nation should not perish'" (John 11:45-50).

    In order to save Israel, the nation, they felt that Jesus' death would serve as an example to anyone who disrupted the order of things. After all Jesus and His followers were dangerous. Before Caesar's representative, Pontius Pilate, they said,

    "Then the whole company of them arose, and brought Him before Pilate. And they began to accuse Him, saying, 'We found this Man perverting our nation, and forbidding us to give tribute to Caesar, and saying that He Himself is Christ a king'" (Luke 23:1-2).

    Now none of it was true in the sense they meant it. Jesus had, in fact told them to pay their taxes, their tribute, to Caesar, just not make Caesar the center of their lives. And though He is Christ, He was not a king as the world sees a king.

    "Jesus answered, 'My kingship is not of this world; if My kingship were of this world, My servants would fight, that I might not be handed over to the Jews; but My kingship is not from the world'" (John 18:36).

    Pilate laughed at Him, the Sanhedrin laughed at Him, the people laughed at Him.

    "Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the praetorium, and they gathered the whole battalion before Him. And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe upon Him, and plaiting a crown of thorns they put it on His head, and put a reed in His right hand. And kneeling before Him they mocked Him, saying, 'Hail, King of the Jews!' And they spat upon Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head. And when they had mocked Him, they stripped Him of the robe, and put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to crucify Him…..And those who passed by derided Him, wagging their heads and saying, 'You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.' So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked Him, saying, 'He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in Him. He trusts in God; let God deliver Him now, if He desires Him; for He said, 'I am the Son of God.' ' And the robbers who were crucified with Him also reviled Him in the same way" (Matthew 27: 27-31;39-44).

    Can't we hear the same mockery in the language of the day?

    "Woe to you that laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep."

    Three days later, Christ rose form the dead. The Sanhedrin were frantic creating a story that a band of fishermen overpowered a cohort of legionnaires and stole the body, or they snuck past sleeping legionnaires to steal His body. It was a death sentence for a Roman soldier to sleep on guard duty and the Jews and Romans knew this.

    But among the crowd jeering Jesus, there were those wept for Him. His mother, the Blessed Virgin. Mary Magdala, and the Apostle John are only a few of those we know about.

    "And there followed Him a great multitude of the people, and of women who bewailed and lamented Him" (Luke 23:27).

    But soon they were rejoicing.

    "Blessed are you that weep now, for you shall laugh."

    Today we weep when we hear people justify abortion as a cure for world problems, societal ills, and as a personal freedom. We weep when we see and hear of people hurt and even killed for being a different religion, race, gender, sexual orientation.

    We weep when we see immorality and truth reduced to a relative thing. When good is called evil and evil is called good. When the word of God is twisted to fit any personal want or desire and history is revised to make it acceptable.

    As Bishop Sheen pointed out, "As the eye has not its own light, but needs the sun, so too the reason for its perfection needs the gift of faith. We have the same eyes at night as we have in the day, but we cannot see in the darkness because we lack the additional light of the sun. The reason those with faith have a keener insight into values and a deeper moral sense is because they are blessed with a light others lack."

    It reminds me of the allegory of the cave, where a man escapes the cave he was trapped in to the sunlight of the surface, but when he returned to tell his fellows what he saw, he was mocked and ridiculed.

    Many times, we've been told through many visions, that Christ can't promise us happiness in this world, only in the next. He can promise us joy, the joy of knowing His peace by doing His will, humbly and faithfully. But since we are not of this world, we cannot help but weep for this world. Chained to the ways of this world, we are blinded to the happiness they can receive. We forgo an eternity of happiness for moments of happiness now. So, we see kids killing kids, adults molesting kids, sexual promiscuity, abortion, euthanasia, etc.

    "It isn't that they can't see the solution. It is that they can't see the problem".(G.K. Chesterton; The Point of a Pin in The Scandal of Father Brown.)

    "Blessed are you that weep now, for you shall laugh….Woe to you that laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep."

Pax Christi,

Pat Ludwa

For past columns by Pat Ludwa, see VIEW FROM THE PEW Archives

March 26, 2001
volume 12, no. 85
Pat Ludwa's VIEW FROM THE PEW column
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