Whenever I'm faced with a difficult decision in life I always ask myself this question:
What would Jesus do?
So it is that I am today faced with a particularly difficult three-pronged issue. Yes, that's right, three-pronged. Three, as in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Or the Holy Ghost, if you prefer). Anyway, here is my dilemma. This evening I am faced with watching three possible sporting events and I don't know which to choose. You see, D-Y High School football kicks off at circa 7:00 pm. The Red Sox first pitch is at 8:37 pm, while the Bruins drop the puck on the new hockey season at around the same time. I suppose I could watch the first half of the D-Y game and be home by 8:30. But then what? Red Sox or Bruins? That's where Jesus comes in.
What would Jesus do?
The best way to answer that question is to consult the famous Sermon on the Mount (Gospel of St. Matthew) and in particular the eight Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-10). So here goes:
Beatitude #1) Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. This would clearly be a vote for the Bruins, as they finished in last place last season (very poor in spirit) and aren't expected to do much better this year. (Bruins 1 - Red Sox 0)
Beatitude #2) Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted. Red Sox fans mourned for 86 years between World Series wins, so this appears to be a vote for the Sox. (Bruins 1 - Red Sox 1)
Beatitude #3) Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. At first I figured this would be a vote for the Bruins (since the new NHL rules have produced a kinder, meeker sport), but the Beatitude mentions "earth," which Biblical scholars interpret as "land" instead of, say, "water," or "frozen water - i.e. ice," so I suppose this is a vote in favor of the Red Sox. (Red Sox 2 - Bruins 1)
Beatitude #4) Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill. It is interesting to note that the word "justice" is comprised of two words: "just" and "ice." Hockey is played on ice. Just ice. This cannot be a coincidence, and therefore points to a vote for the Bruins. (Red Sox 2 - Bruins 2)
Beatitude #5) Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Once again, we have to examine a word root to determine this one. The word "merciful" includes the word "merci," which in French translates as "thank you." Since hockey is a Canadian sport, and since the French language is spoken in Quebec province, home of the Montreal Canadians hockey team, it seems pretty clear that this Beatitude points to the Bruins. (Bruins 3 - Red Sox 2)
Beatitude #6) Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Both the Red Sox and the Bruins are pure in heart, so this one is a tough call. In fact, it's so tough that we have to call it a tie. In baseball, if the score is tied at the end of nine innings the teams play extra innings until there's a winner. Nowadays in hockey, when the score is tied at the end of three periods they play a five-minute sudden death overtime. If it's still tied they do a shootout, which I personally don't agree with because it wasn't a part of "old time hockey" played by the likes of Gordie Howe and Eddie Shore and Gump Worsley. So, in my book extra innings outperforms the shootout, giving the vote to baseball. (Bruins 3 - Red Sox 3)
Beatitude #7) Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. If Jesus had said, "Blessed are the icemakers" then this would have been a vote for Zamboni operators ... and ultimately, the Bruins. But Jesus said, "Blessed are the peacemakers," and we all know how much hugging goes on in the Red Sox dugout after Ortiz hits a homerun, so I suppose this is a vote for the Sox. (Red Sox 4 - Bruins 3)
Beatitude #8) Blessed are they which are persecuted for justice's sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. There's that word "justice" again, which would seem to point in favor of the Bruins. But there's also the word "sake," which in Japanese is a wine made from rice (also spelled saki, pronounced sáa kee). And we all know that tonight's starting pitcher for the Red Sox is Daisuke Matsuzaka, of Japanese descent. So it seems that Beatitude #8 is a solid vote for the Sox. (Final score: Red Sox 5 - Bruins 3)
Red Sox baseball it will be, most likely with a switchover to Bruins hockey for the score in between innings. After all, if Jesus had a TV remote that's what He would do!