The Homily on Capital Hill
A little over two Thousand years ago, the Messiah delivered a sermon (homily) on a mountain near the Sea of Galilee and Capernaum, a fishing town on the northern shore of Galilee, where scripture records, that the Messiah could not perform a single miracle, because of the unbelief of the people.
This sermon or homily of Christ has become known as the Beatitudes after the name of the mountain that he most likely spoke atop. In this homily, Jesus, known to the people of Capernaum, as the son of Joseph, spoke to the multitudes. His enunciation that day was a simple and clear prescription on how to apply the old Mosaic law to contemporary Jewish life.
Christ began by offering blessings to those who lacked self-confidence, the meek, mourners, truth seekers, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and the persecuted.
Then he lifted humanity onto his carpenter’s shoulders by telling the multitudes, “You are the salt of the earth.”
He spoke of the power of the mind to commit an offense to the Holy One, before the body had time to carry out the act. Warning his listeners to be mindful of the thoughts they entertain.
In one sentence, Christ cleared up any confusion over marriage, divorce and adultery, saying it was a sacred trust between a man and a woman that once joined could not be easily dissolved in spite of secular law that enabled a man to issue a writ of divorce to his wife.
On that day, the anointed one’s homily shunned the taking of oaths. He urged his followers to let their word be their bond. He closed out his homily on the mount by exhorting the multitude to follow an ancient Golden Rule: To treat others the way you want to be treated, to love your enemies and to be better than your adversaries.
Today, the Pope delivered a homily to the world from the United States’ Capitol Hill. In his homily Pope Francis told America that she means too much to the world to squander away her time in petty partisan bickering. He reminded America that she is the “salt of the earth” and has a responsibility to lead the world on issues like climate control and immigration.
Although, he was gentle on the issue of same sex marriages in the USA, the Pope, warned that the family was the strength of this nation and of the world. He said that the USA offered too few choices for success of the family in the manner in which she treats children; and that this nation offers too many choices to adults for them to focus on strengthening the traditional family unit. A clear reference to a recent Supreme Court ruling which redefines marriage to permit same sex couples to enter into a state of matrimony.
The Pope concluded his homily on Capitol Hill by asking God to “bless America.”
I have often wondered what Christ would say if he dropped in for a visit on 21st century earth; now I know. The homily on Capitol Hill, like the sermon on the Mount, is one for the Ages.
Harold Michael Harvey, is the author of the legal thriller “Paper Puzzle,” and “Justice in the Round: Essays on the American Jury System,” available at Amazon and at haroldmichaelharvey.com. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Holy Bible, King James Version