The Pharisees came forward and began to argue with Jesus, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him. He sighed from the depth of his spirit…
There isn’t a greater honor in this world than someone coming up to you and saying, “When I grow up I wanna be just like you!”
Who do you want to be like? I for one have always held in great esteem certain people in my life; but never were they actors or rock stars. Unfortunately, millions of children grew up wanting to be just like Michael Jackson or Corey Haim or Amy Winehouse or Madonna or Lady Gaga or Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan or Miley Cyrus, etc…
Most people don’t like to admit the tremendous influence “the Stars” have in their lives. I am here to say they do; especially among our children. I have always found it interesting how celebrities are referred to as… “Stars”? And how parents don’t shoot them down! If we wish to be honest, then we should refer to them more like “Shooting Stars.”
Let’s be honest: young people look up to them and love to imitate them in dress and talk and attitude, let’s thank the Lord that not too many of them die like them.
We, Americans, are very good at being reactive. Yes, we are very good at investigative science (or forensic science); that is, going back and piecing together the final moments of someone’s life. We do a phenomenal job in honoring our dead. We are exceptional when it comes to paying tribute to those who are here today and gone tomorrow. What we are pitifully inept in doing is being proactive. We don’t seem to learn from our lessons. Parents and priests are the first to blame. We don’t seem to do a good enough job in reminding our children, in blowing the whistle and calling out the warning scenes before death strikes! What we don’t seem to what to discuss openly and publically is the deadly pattern, signs and culture that permeates the Hollywood and music industry. And we should! because these industries go out of their way in promoting a certain way of life that is not good to life.
Christ sighed from the depth of his spirit. As far as I can recall, there were only two moments when Jesus did that: when he gave up his Spirit and now, when he gave up, for just a moment, on these stubborn people! Just imagine for a moment the scene. The Pharisees are arguing with Christ, “Show us a sign so that we can believe in you! Give us some proof!” The Lord took a deep breath and signed. He must have been utterly disgusted by their question. No wonder why he tells them, “Do you not have ears to hear and eyes to see?”
In today’s responsorial we hear an incredible admission. The Psalmist states, “Before I was afflicted I went astray…It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn your statutes.” (Ps. 119:67-68).
Is it really good that I have been afflicted? Really? Yes! It’s a wake-up call. It is reminder as to why people turn to drugs, to alcohol, to abusing themselves and others? Because they have wandered and strayed from His statutes and rioted against the Lord. Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” Why can’t we learn this lesson? By now, we should all be believers!
What will it take for Hollywood to finally be convinced that they produce death as much as they produce money? That they ruin children and actors lives? Why don’t they take care of their very own? Why don’t they admit their failures and learn from past mistakes? Why don’t they call people out?
Unfortunately, I think their honest answer is: “We are in the business of creating illusions! We are in the business of making legends.”
There are plenty of signs that point to and away from Christ. May we learn from the pain and suffering of others? And may the Good Lord never sigh in disgust and disbelief!