Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany
January 31, 2010
Grace to you and peace, from the one who is, and who was, and who is to come. Amen.
One you get a few paragraphs deep into The Catcher in the Rye,
the classic 1951 novel by J.D. Salinger, who died this past week.
it becomes painfully clear that there's something wrong with Holden Caulfield.
He's angry, depressed, scattered, desperate … yet, and perhaps not surprisingly,
he shows glimpses of deep insight, as is often the case with those who are marginalized.
He longs for something real, something authentic, something worth holding on to …
but this yearning for authenticity contrasts with the phoniness that surrounds him.
You see, Holden Caulfield looks at the world and at those around him
with a deep skepticism and cynicism,
acutely diagnosing the phoniness of the people and places around him.
Though most of us might not share his quirks or crude language,
and though we may not relate to his deep carelessness,
there is something about his analysis of the phoniness of the world
that has struck a chord for generations of Americans.