St. Patrick's Day in Boston
Scheduled for March 16
is St. Patrick’s Day. St. Patrick is the patron saint of the Irish, and (one
suspects) also of the drunk.
is the custom in the city of Boston that anyone with an Irish surname can get a
free drink in any bar (on St. Patrick’s Day) in the city merely by presenting
identification. So it was that a gentleman of obvious Oriental extraction,
Japanese to be specific, pounded upon the bar and demanded his free drink. The
bartender, naturally, was dubious. He demanded a driver’s license. It was
promptly produced. The bartender poured him a shot of the finest Irish whisky
what would you do for a man named “Ohara?”
so marks the American spirit as this: we are a melting pot of culture. My
long ago ancestors came from Germany, only to have their descendant discover
the wonders of Mexican cuisine. Surely no nation on earth cares so little
about one’s ancestors. It is a complete joy to know that my grandfather was
born (literally) on the wrong side of the tracks -- and that it matters not at
is my unfortunate observation that the church, like our society, divides itself
into various classes. There are the “ins” and there are the “outs.” We are
pious enough on Sunday to proclaim that Jesus died for all -- but on Monday we
know who’s who.
Lincoln once remarked that God must have loved the common man--he made so many
of them. The Lord’s Supper is a time when we must examine ourselves, and I
must suggest to you that this week, the week most associated with St. Patrick
and the “lower classes”, you need to examine your attitude towards those who
don't live as you do. Do you really recognize that Christ died for them, too?
Indeed, if you will look at the Scripture, Christ said to the sinner, the
prostitute, the thieving bureaucrat -- the workaday stiff -- repent. But to
the pious, the religious leader, the proud, he said, “Be born again.” He
recognized that being privileged is a terrible disadvantage: it makes you
believe that you are indeed self sufficient. You may think you are. Tell me,
then, how you plan to conquer death!
must face it: no matter how rich or how poor, how politically correct or
disfavored, how fashionable or how bovine, all of us stand in the same
relationship to God. The ground is level at the foot of the Cross. Each and
every one of us must acknowledge the same thing, or die: “God be merciful to
me, the sinner.”
yourself; ask his mercy. It is as sure as sunrise.