We can’t escape from politics these days. The commercials are full of candidates spitting in each other’s eyes and performing self-proclaimed miracles. Today’s readings reminded me of the contrast between human and divine politics. As our King, Jesus is a politician who could make spitting an act of divine mercy. He used it in the gospels to restore sight and speech. And in today’s Gospel from Mark he also opened someone’s ears and loosened his tongue.
Today’s politicians’ tongues are often too loose (think Joe Biden), but a real miracle, in Jesus’ day and today, would be to open their ears to what their speech writers and policy makers are making them say. Some are encouraging class warfare, vilifying the “rich” and encouraging resentment in the poor. In the second reading today, James writes “In making this distinction among yourselves have you not used a corrupt standard?” James identifies the true standard of rich as being rich in faith and “heirs to the kingdom which God promised to those who love him.”
Human politicians use class distinctions to their advantage and this threatens to corrupt everybody. They cater to the financially rich for favors and they pander to the spiritually poor for votes. And in those actions, they pervert the truth. Abortion is Choice. Birth Control is a right. Marriage is a Life Style. They repeat these things so much that these words begin to sound like truth to the spiritually poor. This proves that if we’re not careful we can become deaf to real truth.
We all need to use Jesus as our role model for the truth and become deaf to the corrupt standards of human politics. Let’s open our ears to divine politics. Essentially, politics is the art or science of governing. Many of the people of Jesus’ time wanted to make him king when they saw the things he did and heard the things he said. Mark’s gospel today concludes “Their admiration was unbounded, and they said, ‘Everything he does is good.”
If our eyes and ears could sense such goodness in today’s politicians it would be a miracle.