OK, if you’re not a baseball fan this story may not mean much to you.  It was Game 3 of the National League Division Series when a squirrel came from out of nowhere, ran across home plate, and disappeared into the stands.  This shouldn’t be a big surprise.  Baseball is played outdoors (or, at least it should be) and outdoors is where you find squirrels.  This particular furry critter’s timing may have been exceptional, but a squirrel is a squirrel is a squirrel.  We have some very bright (in squirrel terms) squirrels at my church.  These guys come to the door of the rectory and beg for nuts.

Here’s the thing.  Saint Louis baseball fans have gone crazy over “Rally Squirrel”.  You’d be hard pressed to find a stuffed squirrel within a hundred miles of Saint Louis.  There are “Rally Squirrel” shirts and hats everywhere.  At last night’s game there was someone in a giant squirrel head wearing a
Cardinal uniform with “Rally Squirrel” across the back.  It’s a real phenomenon.  Major League Baseball has even edited their “Legends are born in October” ad campaign to include our furry friend.

Don’t get me wrong.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  A lot of the RS swag is being sold by charities as a way to raise money.  Some purists might argue that the game’s the thing.  Isn’t October baseball exciting enough without stuffed squirrels.  And, how does Fredbird feel about all this?  There are good arguments on both sides.

But I can’t help wondering, what if Jesus showed up at Bush Stadium?  Would he generate the same enthusiasm as a furry rodent with good PR?  After all, He did show up on earth once and got crucified.  Don’t think I’m comparing the Son of God to a squirrel, I’m not.  What I’m comparing is human reactions.  As Catholics we believe that Jesus shows up at every mass.  That’s not an act of a beast with a brain the size of my thumb.  It’s the work of God.  Would that most of us could work up even a tenth of the enthusiasm for the appearance of the Word made Flesh.

I’m just sayin’….  Where are the Jesus T-Shirts?  Where are the Jesus hats?  Doesn’t the Lord deserve more attention than a squirrel at a ball game?  Don’t forget, in 1999, the Pope, Jesus right-hand-man on earth helped the Rams win the Super Bowl.  Now THAT was a miracle.

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