The Marriage at Cana, Maerten de Vos,
c. 1596, O.-L. Vrouwekathedraal
(About this Image)
Fr. Smith’s Commentary on the Second Reading
Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
1 Corinthians 12:4–11
January 16, 2022
TV Westerns of the 50s and 60s were a wonderful introduction to sociology. Wagon Train, Have Gun Will Travel, and countless others showed how towns and the social structures that maintained them developed. They mostly unconsciously revealed the importance of class and caste. Despite the almost official American ideology of rugged individualism, we saw how people worked together to build towns along rivers, between mountains, and eventually along train routes. Although most people farmed crops or herded animals, others were drawn to support roles of merchandising and transportation. There was almost always at least one church, school, and saloon in any town and perhaps to appeal to a wider audience, the contributions of white ethics were shown from the beginning. Black, Brown, and Asian people were added in the later sixties. Some programs were very honest about racial tensions but almost all about the conflicts between the very small elite and the workers and farmers. The realities both positive and negative of the power structures were clearly seen.