If you believed some Catholic bishops and some newspapers, you could easily conclude that the only thing Christians, especially Catholics, are concerned about is sex. Yet if you read the gospels, you get an entirely different impression. The Jesus of John’s Gospel is fixated on love: God’s love for us and our responsibility to love one another. As we heard this evening in the Gospel: “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.”
In the climatic last judgment scene in Matthew’s Gospel, the final judgment does not emphasize sex; it emphasizes how we treat the hungry, the thirsty, the naked and the imprisoned. Jesus came to establish the reign of God, the kingdom of God, a world of justice, peace and love. This is why he was killed, and God raised him up to show that his defeat would not be final.
In this context, I think we need to see journalism as a vocation within the Christian community. To be a Christian today, you have to hold the Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other. You have to read the Scriptures to be inspired and motivated to change the world, and you have to read the newspaper to find out what needs changing. That is why good journalism is so important to us not just as citizens but as Christians.
Jesus had enemies and so does good journalism. Reporters around the world have been killed, not just in wars, but for reporting on corruption and crime. They are martyrs for the truth. More insidious enemies are the bean counters who try to turn the temple of truth into a profit center or a branch of the entertainment industry.
From what I have learned from you about Roy, he was a true professional committed to truth. He was patient and helpful to those learning the trade. He understood that journalism is a vocation, not just a job. He was an inspiration to all who knew him. His loss touches everyone here.
As we continue our Eucharist, we can imagine Roy in heaven comparing notes with some other great writers: Mathew, Mark, Luke, John and Paul. That would be an editorial meeting worth attending.
In Roy, we celebrate a life devoted to the truth. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” As Roy sought the truth, he was also pursuing Jesus. In this Eucharist, we remember that as Jesus went through death to the resurrection, so to Roy and all of us will be transformed through our lives and death to join in the resurrected body of Christ.