The theme (probably not the right word) of today's service was Epiphany. It was all about the three wise men who were sent to find Jesus and bestow upon him gifts. A story we all know pretty well, right? Well, I thought so too. But as I sat listening to the homily I noticed that our priest started taking things down another path entirely. He somehow turned it into a pro-immigration lecture.
Did you know for example that undocumented immigrants pay more in taxes during their lifetime than they get in benefits? To which I say, who doesn't? Who is actually on the winning side of this equation? The dirt poor? Maybe. But I would tend to think that most people pay WAY WAY more than they get in benefits.
The priest went on to list talking point after talking point--straight off a fax from the nearest immigrant activist organization: most immigrants DIDN'T sneak over the border (they just overstayed their visas), most of them aren't on welfare, they contribute to society by doing the jobs no one else wants to do, they don't have excessive body odor. (Okay, I made that one up).
Apparently the tie-in to the gospel reading was since the three wise men were coming from afar that we should welcome immigrants from afar as well.
Sounds good. The minute I see a Russian or a Somali or a Hmong or a Mexican bearing some francenscense or myhrr, I will gladly welcome them to the community.