Easter Lilies

What a strange world we live in. How many of us try to live by the advice given in St. Matthew 6:

“28: And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow, they toil not, neither do they spin.
29: And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”

I can’t honestly say that I often trust in a greater power to provide what I need in order to live comfortably and freely. Could it be that the western world’s fullest implementation of this biblical passage is seen in the homeless (even if their raiment often falls short of the lily standard)?

I expect that it’s actually a lot of work to traipse across town between shelters, tent cities, and food lines, and to do a shift at a station of the cross, holding up a cardboard sign.

And what of St. Matthew 26: 45: “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.”

It seems meaningful that two passages in the New Testament Gospels have come together so dramatically in our society: the homeless arrayed on street corners who are not spinning; and the opportunity they provide for us to lower our car windows and hand over some loose change.

Somehow the material imbalance in our societies does not reverberate with the great spiritual teachings which advocate a spirit of sharing in place of our fervent devotion to protecting ourselves and our possessions.

Easter–when the resurrection of what is most important for life is celebrated–seems a good time to reflect on what has most value and meaning in our present world.

Could there be a connection between the spread of destitution and the fortifications we erect around our communities, our accumulations of wealth, our political allegiances, and our attempts to protect our essentially unearned advantages over others? Is it really possible that the phrase “you can’t take it with you” refers to someone else living in some other world?

4 comments to “Easter Lilies”
  1. A steady voice here, more of a thoughtful daring than a shaming. Our country’s gaps are so wide now, it might take a sort of quirky humanity to do the needed inquiry. Dickens strikes as being a useful model.

    • I think that your use of the word “framework” is significant. Frameworks, like “frames” around pictures or “framing” someone for something they didn’t do, provide buffers around the immediate and true, Perhaps values can’t ever be framed. They need to be acted on to have any validity. And the framework in which politicians depend on outsiide $ for their re-election is inside out .

  2. Hi Ken,
    Thanks for reading and responding to my Easter blog. It’s a relief to hear you say that it was more thoughtful than shaming. I’m afraid I have a tendency to blame others for “another fine mess you’ve got us into”. However I lack the humor and the spirit of we’re-in-it-together with which Hardy blames Laurel. I’m glad that you feel I avoided assigning blame for “our country’s wide gaps”. Although I have to confess that I only quote the gospels when I want to imply that our society is taking the chaft and leaving the kernels behind. Dickens? I’m trying to think if he offers any workable solutions. Or does he give devastatingly clear pictures of social inequality (accompanied by the indifference of the powerful and rich) without any social engineering–apart from friendship, honesty, and courage?

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