He is, as we know, ensconced in a divinely comfortable Lazyboy recliner at the right hand of His Father. Sometimes He’s a bit distracted by that damned dove fluttering over their divine heads. Neither the Gospels nor the godologians tell us whether He and His Dad are watching “Star Trek” or enjoying closed-circuit TV with Hell. Is that a chess, or a ouija, board on the coffee-table between them ? On the lower shelf there is a Galactic TV Guide, but also some serious reading : Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos”, Darwin’s two major works and a slim volume entitled “From Illusions to Illumination. The Itinerary of a Franciscan Priest from Catholicism to Atheism”. (Curiously there is not a single copy of the Bible, though there is a beautifully bound Koran.)
The question that interests me here, however, is not the seating arrangements in Heaven, but how to get on His, Jesus’, right side ? Christians claim that He loves everyone, but the Gospels reveal He loved some (like the Apostle John at the Last Supper) more than others, and that – as Thom has recently pointed out – He preferred to snub His Mum rather than His clients. More important, we discover that He tended to pick and choose the sick people He was willing to cure. One cannot but wonder about His xenophobia in the story of the Canaanite woman (Mt.15:21-28). Initially indifferent to her being “tormented cruelly by a demon”, insisting that He had been sent exclusively for the lost sheep of Israel, and referring to foreigners, non-Jews, as “little dogs”, He finally made an exception and cured her.
But the larger question cannot be ignored : If He could cure anybody He chose to, why did He not choose to cure everybody ? Apparently you had to come from the right side of the tracks to be on His right side. Many are sick but few are cured.