April 6th, 2006
We have a strange coincidence this year that hasn’t been in a long time. Experts on Abraham Lincoln know that he was shot in Ford’s Theater on the night of Friday, April 14, 1865; and died at daybreak of Saturday, April 15. However, the coincidence is that April 14 of that year was Good Friday. And this year, April 14 is Good Friday! So we have a coincidental date with not just the day of the week, but also a major holiday happening at the very same date and weekday as for 1865!
Many years ago, one of the yellow phone directory pages had a series of calendars printed on it, showing all possible ways (14 altogether) that the days of the week and date numbers aligned themselves for a whole year at the time. The page also listed the years 1800 through 2050; to find the right calendar and alignment, you had to find the year you wanted and then refer to a certain numbered calendar. This way, I learned that 2006 has the same alignment as 1865, 1967, 1978, 1989 and 1995. The secrets are that New Year’s Day is on Sunday and it is not a leap year.
Only two days after Easter, there is a milestone anniversary – the one-hundredth anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake!
Numberless families are probably planning their Easter dinners now. Ham and turkey are probably the most popular (ham is advertised widely), but actually the most symbolically appropriate meat is lamb. Lamb has roots in spring in both the Old and New Testaments: it was the main course in the original Passover feast; and Jesus is spoken as the Lamb of God.
Unlike many parades, an Easter parade is an informal procession and judging of newly-acquired street clothes. There are no floats, bands, or costumed characters – unless you count the one in Disney World, which commercializes and distracts from the true meaning of the holiday. Two years ago, I made myself a blouse and skirt for Easter; I put a lot of embroidery on them, and participated in an Easter parade in Ocean City, NJ. But I was very disappointed that I won nothing, because, except for self-crafted bonnets, the judges took no consideration for self-made vs. store bought-clothing.
With Easter just two weeks away, people throughout the world are now reflecting on the sufferings and death of Christ. There is something very important to be discussed here, not for religious purposes, but social and moral connections.
As children, when we first learned about Christ’s ordeal, we probably felt sorry for Him, but - more to my point - we felt indignant or angry over the people who made fun of Him, tortured Him, and set him up to be finished off. We said to ourselves, “How could anybody be that mean? Christ didn’t do anything bad. Those people were evil”
However, we fail to make the connection between Christ’s maltreaters and ourselves when we make trouble for other people by teasing, heckling and (worst) physically assaulting them.
I can best illustrate this connection by citing my own experiences. All through school, I was picked on and teased by both students and teachers. When I complained to these malefactors and insisted they stop, my parents said, “Ignore them, and they will stop bothering you.” But when I did so, or at least tried to do so, these hecklers did not stop bothering me! When they saw that I was paying no attention, they did not allow themselves to be ignored, and resorted to more drastic action. When Christ was sadistically teased, He did not retaliate; but His torturers did not let him of the hook as a result. They continued to tease and torture Him until he was dead. In my case, students continued to harass me until either I moved out of the area or the malefactors graduated.
The problem of students harassing me was worst in college, since I had to stay there during the week. There the other dormitory students had access to me 24/7. They committed discourtesies and atrocities that were strictly from malice and hate. Such atrocities were inexcusable because these students, especially the upperclasswomen, fancied themselves grown up. They allegedly knew everything, including right and wrong, but in reality were terrorists because they made me live in fear, expecting another attack around the next corner or the next day.
What connection is there between wrongdoers and Christ’s maltreaters? Christ says, in describing the Last Judgment, that His Father will say “Whatever you do/fail to do to My least brethren, you do/fail to do unto Me” Action toward others count for ill deeds as well as for good deeds. So when people tease and harass other people, they are maltreating Christ once again. The people who made trouble for me in the past – or who still make trouble for me today – fail to see the connection between their atrocities and the discourtesies against Christ.
Today I still suffer greatly, even after 15 years, from people who needle me about the profane, vulgar Howard Stern. I have explained incessantly how he contacted me to be on his former TV show but denied me the time or chance to do my homework. He ruined my good name, on the air, nationwide, maybe even worldwide, and created a false impression of me. Perverts still tease me about him, making false accusations. These hecklers have been warned, repeatedly, to stop; but they refuse to. The overwhelming majority of these malefactors are old enough to be parents or even grandparents, so that they’re supposed to know better. Some of them have even told their children, or groups of children like Scouts that they are in charge of, to yell Howard Stern’s name, or to proclaim that I am his great love, or even that I am pregnant by him (!), upon my appearing in public! Stern himself said in November ’02, on the air, that the public was not to bother me about him anymore, but the public has been brazenly defiant. These malefactors have made me lose face with police and event organizers, so that I have been banished from several locales and risk having other locales follow suit. I was made a sacrificial goat for other people’s misdeeds.
It is true that Christ said “father forgive them (His maltreaters).” But that does not mean that these troublemakers watched Him die and then went home as though it were just another day ended. At the moment Christ expired, there were an earthquake and storm, which gave al the malefactors, a deserving scare; they were haunted by their wrongdoings for the rest of their lives. Subsequent generations, even up through today, were taught to look upon those people with horror and disgust; those people became historically unpopular.
People who make trouble for others, or who used to do so, face penalties later in life when they least expect it. The most deserving comeuppance is if present or former bullies have children who are either bullies or victims. Either way, the parents – especially past or present hecklers – receive complaints and have to take action. Seeing their children repeat the pattern is nature’s way of punishing hecklers by forcing them to remember their own misdeeds – and, if they’re intelligent enough – see the connection between Christ’s suffering and the hardships they made others suffer.
If hecklers don’t wise up, they face punishment when they least expect it, in either this world or the next! We certainly don’t want to think of ourselves as being just as bad as the people who set Christ up to be executed! So that’s food for thought: when we think about Christ’s ordeals, how do we know that at some point in our own lives, even today, we make Him suffer all over again by making trouble for other people out of hatred or discourtesy? How can we be sure we won’t be remembered unfavorably by future generations because we were nasty to other people?