Why 2 K?
Fr. Peter Daly
Why 2 K?
What is it with this Y2K stuff? Even churches, which are supposed to have their minds focused on things eternal, are worried about it.
Of course, we would be silly not to take the problem seriously. We have become a computer dependent world in many ways.
Recently we received a survey form in the mail from our local electric company, which rents our parish hall sometimes. They said they wanted to be sure that all their "contractors" were "Y2K" compliant. It had a lot of questions. I did my best to respond to them honestly.
"Will your safe open after the millennium?" Answer: "Ya, if I can find the key it will."
"Is your programmable thermostat Y2K ready?" Answer: "The dang'd thing doesn't works right anyhow. It probably thinks the millennium has already come. Don't know why it should be any different next year."
"Will your parking lot lights and other outside lights function?" Answer: "If I can remember to turn them on."
"Will your door locks be affected?' Answer: "We should be able to slide that dead bolt back and forth pretty well after the millennium, provide the weather is not too damp."
The last question was the one that stumped me. "Will your essential functions be affected?"
Now, I had to give this question a little more consideration. Just what are our essential functions?
The church is primarily a community of charity and prayer. Probably we could continue our essential functions pretty well. We should be able to celebrate the sacraments, do works of charity, study the scriptures, and teach the faith, even if the computers shut down.
We might not be able to fill in all those forms that come to us from the diocese and the government, which would be God's justice. We probably wouldn't be able to generate so much paper, which would save the rain forests. We might not be able to schedule so many events, which would give us all a needed Sabbath rest.
The power company survey made me wonder. What if we sent out a similar "doomsday survey" to determine if people were "Second Coming" compliant. What would we ask? Probably something like this.
Have you fed the hungry lately?
Have you given drink to the thirsty?
Are strangers welcomed in your community?
What provisions have you made for clothing the naked and sheltering the homeless?
Are your programs for visiting the sick and the imprisoned working?
Do you worship God in spirit and truth?
Have you been building each other up with words of encouragement?
What provisions have you made for the meek to inherit the land?
Have you been reconciling enemies, making peace, and comforting those who mourn?
How much mercy have you shown?
In what way have you hungered and thirsted for justice?
Have you preached the good news to the ends of the earth?
Have you baptized all nations and told people of God's love?
Have you stored up sufficient treasure in heaven?
I'd be willing to bet that most of us would have a lot harder time filling out the second form than the first. I'd also be willing to bet that it would be a lot more important to get compliant with the second one.
One way or another we will muddle through the computer glitches of Y2K. If we don't get compliant with the concerns of the Lord's survey, we might not get through the last judgment unscathed.
Now that's a survey to take seriously.