Dear critics of Google’s choice for their Google Doodle of the Day:
What part of “serving the poor” is not aligned with today, a celebration of Jesus’ renewal and purpose in life?
In no way am I saying Cesar Chavez is Jesus, but are Chavez’s (and Dolores Huerta, by the way) works not aligned with the auspices of serving the poor and helping the needy? While Jesus worked with the Peters and Josephs in his congregation, Cesar worked with the Jesuses, Joses, and Pedros in the fields of California’s wine gardens in his day, but that’s besides the point.
Because I’m a Catholic of Jesuit upbringing, let me pull out my handy-dandy Bible and give you a few quotes from the New Testament to jog your memory:
Luke 4:16-21. And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read… “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He appointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are downtrodden, to proclaim the favorable year of the LORD… Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
Luke 6:20-21. Blessed are you who are poor, for yours in the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.
James 2:5. Did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?
Shall I continue?
Luke 14:12-14. “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return, and repayment come to you. But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
Luke 12:44. “Sell your possessions and give alms; make yourselves purses which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near, nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
I love Luke. Not the rapper, but the writer of the Gospel. OK, OK, one more.
In those days, when there was a very great multitude, and they had nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples to himself, and said to them, “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have stayed with me now three days, and have nothing to eat. If I send them away fasting to their home, they will faint on the way, for some of them have come a long way.”
His disciples answered him, “From where could one satisfy these people with bread here in a deserted place?” He asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” They said, “Seven.”
He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground, and he took the seven loaves. Having given thanks, he broke them, and gave them to his disciples to serve, and they served the multitude. They had a few small fish. Having blessed them, he said to serve these also. They ate, and were filled. They took up seven baskets of broken pieces that were left over. Those who had eaten were about four thousand. Then he sent them away.
Immediately he entered into the boat with his disciples, and came into the region of Dalmanutha. The Pharisees came out and began to question him, seeking from him a sign from heaven, and testing him. He sighed deeply in his spirit, and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Most certainly I tell you, no sign will be given to this generation.” He left them, and again entering into the boat, departed to the other side.
You’re here trying to make the case that Easter isn’t Cesar Chavez’s day when Chavez’s general body of work suggests that he had a similar understanding Jesus did almost two thousand years ago.
Pope Francis washed the feet of twelve detainees, including two women, at the collective gasp of laymen and the nods of millions of us who get it. But it comforts you to know that Jesus lives 2000 years ago, and that no one can replicate his work or ever will unless He comes back. Thus, Pope Francis didn’t get the direct approval from Jesus, so we can’t tell whether Jesus actually approves of what Pope Francis did.
Except that, on a day like Easter, it behooved him to dedicate himself to the people he’s been charged with helping from their squalor. Similar to what Chavez did.
May God find renewal for you today. In Jesus’ name. This I believe.
Jose, for today …
*** thank you to these sites for their help ***