Celebrating (and Emulating) St. Mack the Turtle


In his sermon on Sunday, Father Jaime used Dr. Seuss' story of Mack the Turtle to contextualize the week's gospel passage from Mark. The scripture recounts Jesus first sermon in the Synagogue of Galilee. In it, he introduced an authoritative "new teaching" that stunned his audience alongside his exorcism of an unclean spirit in their midst.

Father Jaime encouraged us to see the greater context of Jesus miracle through the story of Mack, the turtle who lay at the base of King Yertle's great tower. Mack, burdened by the weight of a system built to benefit the few privileged toppled that structure with a burp. In so doing, as Dr. Seuss' states, "And the turtles, of course...all the turtles are free, as turtles and, maybe, all creatures should be."

Jesus' miracle - and his teaching, Father Jaime reminds us - must be viewed from this context. That of the lowest of the low shouldering the burdens of the world and toppling systems, freeing the captives, and changing the world through the most natural and human of actions.

Remember Mack this week and if, perhaps, you let a burp slip out at the dinner table, smile and think of Jesus. Think of that new teaching and natural being that helps us, all creatures, be as we should be.

James Edwards-Acton