PERSPECTIVES

6/29/03
Jn. 21:15-19
The Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul

Last week I was staying with some friends in Chilmark on MarthaÕs Vineyard. Across the road was a cemetery. I wandered over and looked around. I came upon the grave of John Belushi, a comic known from Saturday Night Live on TV and the films Animal House and The Blues Brothers. His tombstone read, ÒHere Lies Buried The Body of John Belushi January 24, 1949-March 5, 1982. ÔI may be gone, but Rock and Roll lives on.ÕÓ

I walked around for a while and on the opposite side of the cemetery I came upon a tombstone for Rodney Dutcher 4/26/01 MarthaÕs Vineyard Ð 11/18/38 Washington, D.C. The inscription read, ÒWe who know will long cherish the memory of his valiant spirit who was first and last a reporter of the dayÕs events as he saw them, fearless in his determination to remain a detached and objective chronicler and as long as justice and conscience where on his side, he did not fear anything else. There was and there is no braver newspaper man than Rodney Dutcher. President Franklin D. Roosevelt.Ó

John Belushi was a great comic who burlesqued life. He saw much of life as patently absurd. He fed our need for humor. I loved his work. Rodney Dutcher sought to be objective and detached and to maintain a high sense of justice and conscience. He nourished our need for knowledge and accurate information. We value reporters today who emulate his high standard.

We need not have to choose to have a vision of the world as absurd and to be burlesqued, nor to see the world as an object to be viewed objectively and with detachment. Two men, Peter and Paul, had a different vision. They saw the world as GodÕs creation, wonderful and yet fallible, inspiring and yet fallen, full of truth and yet sinful. (An Old Testament vision). Their message was the Gospel of Jesus Christ Ð a message which feds the soul. It is a message of judgment and forgiveness, of sacrifice and of hope, of a valued present life and the glory of eternal life. These two men helped literally to change the world. Their message is our message. Humor and objectivity have their place. But you and I are called to make a difference. We are called to bring a message which saves souls Ð others, yours and mine. Ð Fr. Gage -