“I didn’t laugh.”
May God have mercy on his soul.
He was a man of great talent, beginning as a superstar prodigy and culminating with phenomenal achievements in song and dance.
He was a man who lived a very sad and strange life.
He was a man who showed signs of dark and dangerous desires.
He was also a man who became laughed at.
Professional comedians worked themselves into a frenzy for hours and hours making jokes about him.
And millions laughed.
Now this man is dead, long before his time.
Now, for many, the jokes are no longer funny.
For many, the jokes never really were deserving of laughter: child molestation is not funny, neither is the long and slow self-destruction of a human being.
There are some today who may find uncomfortable resonance in the protest of Sarah in today’s first reading (Genesis 18:1-15): “I didn’t laugh.”
But the Lord knew that she did.
May we repent of taking pleasure in the tragic flaws of others.
May we do what we can to protect anyone’s tragic flaws from harming the helpless and innocent among us.
May we resolve, with the help of God’s grace, to address our own flaws – tragic or small – and to help others rather than attack or ridicule them.
May God have mercy on us all.