It’s the season of Advent and once again his past Sunday we had both the searing prophetic vision of John the Baptist excoriating the “brood of vipers” and the gentler, hope and faith-filled vision of Isaiah looking towards the “miracle of the transformed human heart.” As Fr. Tim Eden at the Mystical Rose Oratory of Chaminade University pointed out in his homily with gentle exasperation, “Will the real Advent please stand up?”
One is driven to ask a similar question as we watch from afar the battle over tax cuts and medical benefits for September 11 rescue workers being waged in D.C. “Will the real patriots, the real civic leaders representing and serving the needs of ordinary people, please stand up?”
How is it that the GOP has no problem holding unemployment benefits hostage in exchange for $120 billion in tax cuts for the wealthy who want for nothing — except more?
How is it that the same senators who had no qualms about $120 billion in tax cuts balk at $7 billion in medical benefits for those who put health and life in grave danger to go to the aid of the victims of 9/11?
Is this what the mid-term election of more conservatives to Congress meant: the opportunity to further line the coffers of the rich while turning our hearts and our heads away from those in need?
How is this Christian? How is it patriotic? How is it American?
In this season of advent, we might recast Fr. Tim Eden’s question and ask: will the real believers in Advent please stand up?