Wow! Those gospel readings really bring it home, don't they? And what better way to expound upon the gospel than by talking about tolerance, because that's what the gospel is all about, isn't it? How many of you have ever felt untolerated? Come on... everybody should be raising their hands. That's right. Get those hands up. We've all felt intolerated, haven't we? Now, I'd like you all to leave your hands up like that for a while. I'll tell you why in a second.
Tolerance is all about love. Wasn't it Zacharias who said "Love thy neighbor?" Well, that's what we're called to do. We're called to be "our brother's keeper", in the words of John the Baptist. But hold on a second. There are some people who aren't their brother or sister's keeper. Right? I mean, look around. Even in this place where we are all priests and being eucharist to each other, some of us aren't being our brother or sister's keeper. So what do you do if you see someone not being their brother or sister's keeper? Well, even if the person that they're not being the keeper of is not your brother or sister, you've got to be their keeper, and since you're not their keeper, then you've got to get the person who should be their keeper to be their keeper. And that's where the flip side of Tolerance comes in.
What's the flip side of Tolerance? Hey - Keith - I didn't say you could put your arm down yet. Leave it up there. Anyway, what is the flip side of Tolerance? Anyone? That's right Maryann. The flip side of Tolerance is Social Justice. So if you see someone not tolerating someone else, that's when Social Justice kicks into action. Now, it says in Corinthians "Render up to Caeser," and that's what we have to do. We have to convince the Caesers of the world, and by that I mean the government, that it is their job to make us all be keepers. To make us all tolerate one another. So if you see someone not being a keeper - that is, they are being a keeper, but they're really just keeping - keeping their own treasure, then you get the government to make them be their brother or sister's keeper by making them give their treasure for the keeping.
So, how do you all feel now? I bet you're really uncomfortable, holding your hands up like that. Yes! That's right! Keeping, tolerating, is not comfortable. It's like holding your hand in the air for a long time. At first it's easy, but then it starts to really hurt. So I leave you with this thought for today. Tolerate people until they can't stand it anymore. Make tolerance painful - be a keeper!