Saturday, August 30, 2008

Corporate Times

It is difficult to understand the ways of God, but sometimes one gets a glimmer of understanding. For instance, I can understand why God did not pick our own time or country as the ideal time and place to enter history. The problems, while not impossible for God to surmount, would have been enormous. First, His earthly father would not have been able to make a living as a carpenter. Joseph would not have been able to make a living, selling his woodwork for a profit in competition with the cheaper woodwork made by Chinese sweatshop labor and sold at Wal-Mart. He would have had to take a job at Wal-Mart during the day and a job as night cook at Denny’s in order to keep up the payments on the humble dwelling he shared with Mary and the Christ Child. And Mary would not have been able to be a stay-at-home mom, with taxes and the cost of living being what they are. She would have had to get a job at McDonald’s. There would be no paintings of the Madonna with the Christ Child, because the Madonna would have been flipping burgers, and the Christ Child would have been getting slapped around in daycare.

And if Christ had decided, in His infinite mercy, to stick it out through daycare and public school in order to fulfill His mission, there would have been enormous difficulties in spreading the message. St. Paul would not have been able to make a living as a tent-maker because, like St. Joseph, he would have been undersold by Wal-Mart. Hence, he wouldn’t have been able to evangelize; he’d have been stuck in two or three dead-end jobs. Oh, he would have tried to get booked on the talk shows to spread the word, but they wouldn’t have taken him. Too much of a downer without any marketing skills.

But hey – the loss of the Christ Child is a small price to pay for the great deals we can get at Wal-Mart, right?