You know, from time to time, I have more conservative Catholics give me a hard time for linking (or referencing) the Jesuit priest and writer, Fr. James Martin.
James is a Jesuit, so by definition, yes, he is going to be a little more left-of-center than me on some things, but those who would dismiss him as a far-leftist, or -more importantly- as anything but obedient and loving of the church wherein he works, and the Lord he serves, risks exposing himself or herself as uninformed and a bit shrunken-in-spirit. In his writing, in his many appearances with Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert (where he is always the gentle voice of Catholic orthodoxy) Martin has proved himself to be a very good ambassador for the church in venues where Catholics are not exactly beloved.
Fr. James is also one of the kindest gentlemen and most enthusiastic, generous, joyful and Christ-loving priests I have ever known. His serene joy is, I think, a powerful witness to the abundant graces and blessings that may be found in a life dedicated to Christ and obedient to him.
He brings his mildness, and his passionate love for Jesus into this gentle but pointed admonishment of Lindsay Lohan, who is doing what those celebrities and cultural elitists who aspire to being thought “edgy” will predictably do as Lent and Easter approach:
Wow. No one has ever sexualized Jesus before! (Eyeroll)
Many Catholics are outraged. Bill Donohue, my friend at the Catholic League, said, “Not only is the pose inappropriate, the timing is offensive: Lent begins next week. Lohan, an ex-Catholic who is spiritually homeless, recently said, ‘I’m all about Karma…what goes around comes around.’ If she believes that, then it behooves her to apologize to Christians before it’s too late.” . . .My take on it is that it is once again a cheap grab at publicity by both the magazine and the star. And really, does she think she’s Jesus? Or is somehow like Jesus? Let’s take a look at how their records stack up. Consider:
Linday made her debut as a child prodigy at age 11 in “The Parent Trap.” Jesus made his debut at age 12 in the Temple when his parents were looking for him.
Lindsay starred in “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen.” Jesus instituted the Sacrament of Confession, and is the King of Kings.
Lindsay is followed by crowds of paparazzi who hang on her every move. Jesus was followed by crowds of people who hung on his every word.
Lindsay starred in “Herbie: Fully Loaded,” about a car that becomes human. Jesus is God become man.
Lindsay was arrested for drunk driving by the Beverly Hills police and was guilty. Jesus was arrested for sedition by the Roman police and was innocent.
Lindsay is a “triple threat” in Hollywood: a singer, a dancer and an actor. Jesus is a member of the Holy Trinity.
Lindsay has recorded for Universal Music. Jesus is the King of the Universe.
Lindsay released a self-tanning product in collaboration with Sephora, and was the face of the Fornarina, an Italian clothing line. Jesus visited the Roman town of Sepphoris in Galilee, and is the face of God.
Do yourself a favor: read it all. Watch Martin make this a teachable moment for Lohan, and for us, by building a deceptively lightweight exposition of all that Lohan is not, all that Jesus is, all that she could be, and then -masterfully, and with a witty play on words- deliver a serious message, with serious instruction.
All done with a smile, and consigning no one to anything but hope in Christ. As they say in Brooklyn, “it’s a beautiful thing!”