A lesson from the 4077th

I love watching old television sitcoms. Everything from “Leave it to Beaver,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show, “Everybody Loves Raymond” and countless others. And I won’t budge from my assertion “The Bob Newhart Show” (1972-79) is the funniest live-action sitcom ever. Last month, I was watching an episode of “M*A*S*H” in which Maj. Charles Winchester III (David Ogden Stiers) receives seven copies of The Boston Globe in the mail from his sister.

The snobby Maj. Winchester refuses to share his prized possessions with the rest of the 4077th until he’s read each issue himself, so animosity with his colleagues — who are desperate for news from the outside world — soon develops“Just a hunch: Will Rogers never met you, did he?” asks Col. Sherman Potter (Harry Morgan) of Winchester.

Col. Sherman Potter (Harry Morgan) teaches Major Charles Winchester III (David Ogden Stiers) an important lesson about sharing during an episode of “M*A*S*H.”

When Winchester believes his May 5 issue has been stolen, a “war” within the Korean War erupts and he plays loud music at 3 a.m. as a public display of revenge.

After the situation is sorted out and peace restored, Col. Potter reads a “Li’l Abner” comic strip over the public
addtress system to a delighted group of doctors in the mess hall. Of course, the moral of the episode is to share your treasures.

The episode also got me thinking about the importance of The Byzantine Catholic World as an evangelization tool. So, here is my challenge to you, dear reader: Share The BCW.

Perhaps leave an old copy somewhere where someone might pick it up: in your office break room, on a bus, or any public place. Chances are it will probably end up in a garbage can but maybe — just maybe — it will be read and curiosity about the Byzantine Catholic faith will blossom.

Who knows what can happen from there? If you happen to do this, please write to me at bcw@archpitt.org and let me know what happened. Come to think of it, send it to a family member or someone serving in the military who will
share it with others. Even if your last name is “Winchester.”