Thursday, February 17, 2011

Good News, Bad News

When Jesus was entering Jerusalem riding on an ass, the people were throwing down palms, their cloaks and shouting, "HOSANNAH!"

Jesus got off the donkey and the disciples tied him up next to a stallion.

The donkey turned to the stallion and said, "DID YOU SEE THAT?? Did you see what those people were doing... Man, they LOVED me!"

The stallion turned to him and said, "You ass, it wasn't about you, it was about Jesus."

That's the good news. It's not about us, it's about Jesus.

The bad news is, it IS about us, because we are called on to bear Christ. If we are not bearing Him, no one gets to see Him and worship Him.

H/T Fr. Anthony Karbo, OCA Missions Conference


Judge373 said...

Fr. Anthony is the priest who baptized me!!

Anonymous said...

awesome...gotta share this!

Apophatically Speaking said...

Bad news indeed. No wonder Christianity is in such shambles.

s-p said...

judge373, I really liked Fr. Anthony a lot. I could definitely hang with him.

Anonymous said...

I can imagine my priest delivering this in a homily with a great deal of clarity, he'd like it. Nice find.

Adam S said...

Hopeful I will mature enough to be that Ass bearing Christ Jesus to others.

Joseph Barabbas Theophorus said...

@Judge373: Fr. Anthony baptized me also!

Though I'm no longer living in Colorado, I still remember a number of his stories. I am not sure where he got some of them from, but they are all great. Among the ones I think about the most are the cats vs. dogs and flies vs. bees.

The latter seems to be more about attitude and outlook. On one hand, there is the fly, which always finds the garbage or dung in a room no matter how full of flowers, icons, or saints. On the other is the bee, which will always find the thing that is sweet and fragrant in the room, no matter how full it is of garbage, dung, sin, etc. Essentially, we are to be the bee: to always see Christ and His works. If we are the fly and try to find the sin (in another person, group, etc), we do nothing good for anyone else but only damage our own soul. When a person's nous is focused on mistakes, gossip, sin, demons, evil, that person is by definition communing with those very things, regardless of their intention. Conversely, if a person always looks for Christ, that person will find Him and will be communing with Him.

Despite being a cat person, I like the other story, too, even though the cats are on the negative end of the analogy! It has a lot more to do with actions than the other. Anyways, to paraphrase this story as well, the cats don't do very much. They sit around waiting for something to happen, take their life easy (even when dealing with mice, their "nemesis," they often fool around), constantly groom themselves, and aren't really involved in a family. At best, they get involved when they want something for themselves: a toy, a treat, or just plain attention. Dogs are quite the opposite: they are always finding something to do with themselves, work quite hard at what they do (albiet it is not always what we want them to do), never seem to worry about their appearence (and I think they almost all smell terrible, too!), and are really involved with the family. Even when there is nothing to be gained for themselves, they are full of energy and willing to do anything to help or otherwise please their masters. The point here is also pretty obvious: be the dog. Instead of waiting around for something to happen and thinking about the self all day long, die to self and do something for someone else. Depression is caused by sin; literally, falling out of communion with God, others, and all reality. That is why depression "causes" a person to avoid these things, as "it" starts to prepare the person for both physical and spiritual death. As cats are the "icon" of depression (among other things) in the story, we are to avoid that. Like dogs, we must be active (and for us, that means physically and mentally, and done so in a spiritual way), unconcerned about ourselves, and full of love for everyone around us. And to tie it in with the other story, dogs are much like the bee: they near-automatically forgive any faults in their masters and love them just the same. There is simply no other way for the Christian to live than this.

The Poor Blogger said...

This also explains what some Evangelical Christians don't understand about the veneration of Mary/the saints. If we all prostrate ourselves before the donkey, it's because Jesus was on Him.

I'm adding your joke (with citation) to my blog on the Feast of the Ass.