I never watch television on Sunday morning. Never. Except a week ago. On the Sunday after Thanksgiving I turned it on randomly and saw the program This Week. It blew me away. It was almost an hour of interviews with Warren Buffet, Bill and Melinda Gates and Ted Turner. They all spoke about their campaign to return millions of dollars to meet various needs in our society. It was a delight to sit there and listen to Melinda Gates (who visited us at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School a number of years ago) say “we believe that we will eliminate AIDS in our lifetime.” Ted Turner confessed that “eliminating poverty is hard work!” Warren Buffet said that “when wealth is spread around, all the yachts rise, but the row boats don’t.”
These are all great, moving statements. Talk about thinking big!! They are the kind of dreams that Walter Bruggemann, the protestant theologian, was talking about when he suggested that our hope should be so outlandish that we should be afraid that people would laugh when they heard what we are hoping for.
In fact, I used this program for an Advent reflection with the people here at the Network office. I said that these were examples of how the work that the Christ Child was born for were actually being brought to reality. I wondered later what Mr. Buffet, the Gates and Mr. Turner would think if they knew their work was being held up as the work of God saving His people.