Wednesday, May 10, 2017


I think Jesus is a marketing genius.

In marketing, one must always outdo what came before.  Look at phones.  Each new model must promise to do more, do it more innovatively, and quicker.  If that is not achieved, it is declared a grave disappointment and there are no lines at the store.

It is the same with television series.  The next season must always outdo the last season.  It must be wilder, bigger, crazier.  If it is not, people lose interest.  I think that is why so many of them end up becoming a soap opera about who is sleeping with whom.  But once you have jumped that shark, who cares . . .

Many Churches are like this.  The music must get better and better or at least be updated.  The preaching must always be cutting edge.  New special effects; fog, lighting, projections, must be added, changed, improved, expanded because once you have a spectacular, it becomes common.  (Think about the poor guy that has to come up with a new Super Bowl halftime show every year.)

But the Church Jesus founded steadfastly marches in the other direction.  There isn’t really anything to see particularly at its heart - the Eucharist.  The Eucharist couldn’t be more counter-cultural.  There was a big push for a spell to have clear glass chalices so people could “see what was going on.”  Do you know how differently wine looks after it is consecrated?  Not a jot.  Everything happens below the level of the senses.  The bread and wine cease to exist, but their accidents remain.  So it may look, feel, smell and taste like bread and wine, but it has become wholly the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ.  This is something that can maintained for 2,000 years without constantly having to come up with something “new.”

Although I am one for great music, art and liturgy done well, none of that is intrinsic to the Eucharist.  Jesus makes Himself present in His Word and the Eucharist whether you are the Basilica of St. Peter or having Mass on the hood of a jeep in field during a war.  Lighting effects, fog machines and the like would be a distraction to this.  We come, not to be entertained, but to give time to the One who loves us.  

“Do you love Me?” He seems to ask, “Then spend time with me, not because you are entertained, but because you love me.”

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