Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Put your money where your mouth is

In the first reading today we hear:

he ordered the gold and silver vessels which Nebuchadnezzar, his father, had taken from the temple in Jerusalem, to be brought in so that the king, his lords, his wives and his entertainers might drink from them. When the gold and silver vessels taken from the house of God in Jerusalem had been brought in, and while the king, his lords, his wives and his entertainers were drinking wine from them

Once again we are reminded that our faith following on the Jewish faith is not "this or that" but "both this and that".

As Daniel foretells the Persians will take over and the second temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem and the gold and silver vessel will be restored to their rightful place.

Many Christians even some Catholics think that it is somehow wrong for the Church to build or maintain beautiful churches, that somehow a beautiful church and care for the poor cannot coexist.

We forget. Mt 26 when the woman brought the very expensive ointment and the disciples complain about how the ointment could have been sold and the money given to the poor.

The truths of faith are transcendent truths that cannot be expressed in words alone. We try in music, art, and architecture to augment the words and help us to comprehend as much as we are able.

There is also a certain hypocrisy in a culture that will spend millions of dollars on a football stadium and yet when you ask the same people about the construction of their parish church, they want to do it on the cheap.

When future generations look back on the buildings of our time what will they discern to be our values. It wasn't the desecration of the objects that was the real crime it was what those objects represented, a respect for and a true worship of God. What do our monuments say? What are our "holy places"?