Wednesday, September 28, 2016

They Covered His Wounds (II): Lazarus, Magnificat

This post continues reflection from the previous post, “They Covered His Wounds With Ideology…”  

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With ideology they covered Lazarus’ wounds, to avoid exposure to him, to avoid touching his hands, feeling his pain (to avoid compassion), sense, touch, to hear not his request for food, for acknowledgement, for kind treatment, for a share (not even a fair share, a share) of the food on which they, the rich man’s family, “feasted sumptuously every day.” 

In their purple garments they ate, declaring their success, their blessedness, their prosperity. They had done it. They had made it. Hadn’t they? 

Full fridge, 
full belly, 
full of many things. 

Full of ideology, of protection from exposure. 


Perhaps not of grace. 

Grace exposes, makes seen the unseen, the veiled revealed. To be full of grace is to see with one’s heart what one has hidden from one’s mind, one’s sense, through words, ideas, ideologies, (purple). 

They did not see with grace. They were not full of it.  

They covered him with ideology. “It’s his fault.” “Hasn’t he any bootstraps?” “Hasn’t he prayed?” “How hard has he prayed?” “I pray every morning.” “I worked hard for what I have.” “I deserve a jeweled goblet every now and then.” Every now and then. “I’m very stressed at work.” Words. They put them there. Right there in front of him. In front of them. Protection. From exposure. Between them and him. A border. A blinder. 

“A great chasm.” Fixed. 

Words. Ideas. Purple and rich. Grand words. Big ones. Words born in places privileged, academies, barrooms, shopping malls, executive suites, holding meanings that make them (all of them) feel safe together, unified, of one accord, with one voice.

Purple blood sticks together. 

Rather than dressing Lazarus’ wounds, addressing his pain, responding to his need, rather than relating responsibly, with response… Rather than unveiling, revealing, uncovering the worship of Mammon (of money), which also is the worship of safety and security, of order, of law, of walls, of boarders strong, the things that Mammon buys to protect Mammon, the things Mammon “provides” to self-preserve… Rather, they blamed Lazarus: “Him…” “He…” “Drugs…” “Try…” “Jobs…” “Fault.”

And when he was to blame no one else was responsible, liable, at risk. No one else needed to feel. No one needed to feel guilt. No need for change. No metanoia. No turn-around. Just walk. Walk. Keep calm. Carry on. 

Wear purple. 

Wear purple loud. Wear purple proud. 

Place purple ribbons. On the light poles. Purple flags. Purple pride. Purple everything, everywhere. Reminding us “we are safe.” 

We deserve. 

Reminding us they deserve. “They deserve what they get.” Salt and tin. Smells and bells. 


Mammon gives blessings, but always demands human sacrifice

Lazarus, sacrificed to Mammon, so that blessing might shower onto the family of the rich. The families of Mammon. “The few.” 

Lazarus, sacrificed behind the purple curtain, incense, smoke swirling, bells ringing to cover the sounds. A blessing from the table: 

1) gathered, 2) words [+gave], 3) fed, 4) sent, walk, carry on.  


Just bring him forward. Lazarus. Offered up. Blessings, oh blessings! “We deserve!”—ten fold, one hundred fold, a thousand. A thousand. A thousand. A thousand. A thousandfold. 

Never mind the man behind the curtain. Never mind in your wine the taste of salt and tin. Poured out for the few. 

A sacrifice. 
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Purple. Purple everywhere. 

Carry on. 


Grace exposes. 


But Mary. 

Mary, full of grace, cries. With deep pain, with deep joy. 

She sees with her heart. She loves with her eyes. 

“Favor on the lowly.” sings Mother of God.

“God who scatters the proud.” 

“Tears, rips, removes the powerful from thrones.” Removes the power to lord-it-over, to condescend, to control, to abuse! 

“Lifts the lowly; fills the hungry.” “Sends the rich ‘empty’” (as they came). Not filled with grace. Only covered. With purple. And words.  
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Favor on Lazarus, for Lazarus, on the side of Lazarus. 
Filling Lazarus. Rising the low. Lifting the pressed. Uprising. 

This is the God (not-Mammon). Mary sings. 

These, hers, the eyes of grace. 

Not to cover. To fill. To expose. 


To rise up. To Resurrect. 

“Upright.” Standing. 

And the curtain in the temple was torn in two. (Matthew 27:51)

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