Posts Tagged ‘Religious Mugwaumps; Being a Witness’

Religious “Mugwumps” (U)

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

Easter Thursday

Acts 3: 11-26; Luke 24: 35-48

Deacon Larry Brockman

So, how important is the Resurrection of Jesus to you?  Is the Resurrection just some religious doctrine that promises you everlasting life in the vague future?  Something that you put on the back burner while you live this life; or is the promise and reality of the Resurrection life changing to you, something that has affected your life style in a meaningful way from the first instance you heard of it?   

There’s a term used in American Politics called “Mugwump”.  It has its origins from an Algonquin Indian term for a great warrior.  But today, it means a person who can’t make up his mind on an issue;  One who has his mug on one side of the fence; and his wump on the other side of it.   

Some people come to Church each week, and celebrate with us.  Others come twice a year- Christmas and Easter.  But then they go back into the world, perfectly content, and even relishing, in the values of the worldly culture.  They are lured by the smug confidence and the commitment of the people of this world in one conviction-  the world is all there is, and one is a fool to not take advantage of it while they can.   

And so, these sometimes Catholics can’t seem to make up their minds.   Do they believe that Jesus gave eternal life to all who believe and follow him?  Or do they live this life for themselves to the fullest?    They are like Thomas, who heard all the prophets predict the death and Resurrection.  He heard Jesus himself predict it.  And yet even after it happened just as Jesus predicted and just as the prophets predicted, Thomas would not believe what the other Apostles told him because he didn’t see first-hand.  Rather, they need proof of the truth – like being able able to put their hands in the side of the risen Christ.  Life and the pleasures of this world seem so much more real to them on Monday then the promise of the Gospel did on Sunday.   

They are also like the Jews in today’s first reading.  Dazzled by the apparent miracle Peter and the Apostles worked.  How fickle that they should believe in Jesus when he entered Jerusalem; then doubt him and call for his execution a week later; then after the resurrection,  blow like the wind back again, attracted to the miracles worked by the Apostles in Jesus name.  But that is how it is with many people, isn’t it.  Their faith is weak.   

Jesus anticipated the Mugwumps of the world.  So he returned to his Apostles a second time when Thomas was there.  And he let Thomas put his hands in his side.  Then he ate a piece of fish- showing that he still had a human body like us but that he had transcended death into a Resurrected state.   

Jesus message I our Gospel today was very clear- the whole message summed up in the last two lines of this Gospel:  “Thus it is written that the Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”  He ends with this:  “You are witnesses of all these things”.   

That’s where all of us come in.  We are to be the witnesses of all this.  We have heard the prediction of the prophets.  We have seen the fulfillment in the Gospel.  We have witnessed the Resurrection through the eyes of the Apostles.  And now, through the strength of our Faith, we need to radiate the certainty of our conviction that the Resurrection has changed our lives.    We need to do this whenever and wherever we relate to the great multitude of sometimes Catholics because we are not Mugwumps.  We are witnesses to all that Jesus said and did.