Lec # 56- 6th Sunday of OT- Sun, May 12, 2012- Fr. Vincent Bresowar
My brothers and sisters in Christ, Freedom is not having the ability to do whatever we want. Freedom is equal rights across the board, but equal rights to what is true and good. Freedom is having the ability, the opportunity to choose to do what is right.
I think we have been duped by modernism, by this invading humanism, to believe that all people deserve equal rights, regardless if the right is good or bad. And that to be able to choose to do that which is wrong, is a right we should all have, regardless if it harms the common good.
Case in point, North Carolina voters rightly chose to uphold the civil definition of marriage this past week. If anyone has been paying attention to the news, this issue of marriage has been the pervading story of the week. The executive branch of the federal government, somewhat unsurprisingly so, came out in full support of defining civil marriage as one which should exist for both heterosexual and homosexual couples. So that has kind of brought marriage back to the forefront of politics this week and a lot of people have been talking about it. So of course I decided we needed to broach this subject less there be any confusion about where we stand as Catholics who believe that God is God and He has the last say.
It is a difficult issue for sure, with proponents of changing the traditional definition of marriage arguing that it is a religious point to deny this right to all peoples who desire it, and that to do so is unfair. And then of course, all the name-calling begins.
No argument against, no matter how sound in reason and steeped in historical fact, regardless of one’s religious background, will be accepted if the outcome is not a total redefining of marriage in our ever “evolving” society.
That has been the word of the week; we are so “evolved” now that we no longer need traditional definitions as they have been understood for all of human history with respect to marriage and procreation. We’ve moved beyond that as many have declared, including the leader of this country.
All that said and done, we understand as Christians that Truth is Truth, that God exist regardless of one’s belief in that fact, and that we humans are made in God’s image and likeness. He has a plan for us, a perfect plan which is built into our very nature as humans beings, as male and female. To promote the health of family and marriage, and life in the public square, is not forcing our religion down people’s throats, but is rather participating in a conversation and fighting for Truth, for our good and the common good of society. Jesus did not shy away from the public square, and neither should we. And as taxpayers, we have right to have an opinion and not be called bigots and religious fanatics for doing so.
To be Catholic is something greater than to be a citizen of this country. We are citizens of Heaven first, Heaven is home, and that’s where we are going, as members of the Body of Christ. We are adopted sons and daughters of God because of our baptism. So we are not just biological beings, we are spiritual beings heading towards an eternal paradise and trying to bring as many people with us as possible.
How do we stay connected and see our life through this lens if we openly adopted attitudes which are against God’s design for humanity? Designs revealed through his Son and his mystical body. We won’t stay connected, we’ll easily buy the lie that our “evolved” society and media would like us to adopt. That marriage is a “right” for all. Just like children are “rights” as some people would believe, not gifts to be given to us, but rights we are owed. Children are total gifts, and no one is owed a child.
But if we would like to see things more clearly, we can do so by following today’s Gospel, and making it our personal code of ethics. If we love as Christ loved, to the end, to death, for others, then we will see the world as He sees the world, and the confusion, and false ideologies that are thrown in our face every day, well, we will find it easy to sift through the garbage and find the Truth.
What is the Truth? Pilate asked Jesus the same question when Truth was standing right in front of him. Pilate represents the blind world, the world which cannot see Truth, and so it tries to redefine it as something it is not. Jesus did not come to die for relativism.
No greater love then this, to lay down one’s life for ones friends. If you love me, keep my commands. If you abide in me, I will abide in you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, have faith in me, so that where I am, you may also be. And remember, if the world hates you, it hated me first. If it persecutes you, remember it persecuted me as well.
It’s not popular to stand up for what is right and good and true.
Jesus never said that to follow Him and his design revealed by Him through the Father was going to be easy for humanity. He never told us that! In fact, he showed quite the opposite, that to follow and understand the truth to the end, is going to take self-denial, self-sacrifice, a willingness to take up the cross and to die for others. Marriage requires the same, in the beginning God created them, male and female he created them. For this reason a man leaves his mother and clings to his wife and the two become one flesh. An imperfect image of the perfect Trinity. The Father gives to the son, and the son receives perfectly the father, and the love that pours forth is the Holy Spirit.
So it is with the husband who gives to his wife, and his wife receives him, and the fruit of this total gift of husband and wife is the child.
Sacrifice, self-gift, Love, charity… none of this comes with great ease, and yet when we live it in the way the Lord designed it, with faith, then it becomes easy to see why redefining marriage to be something it is not is an offence against family, is an offence against society, and ultimately is an offense against God himself. And I don’t really care what others say, if others believe that or not, it’s who we are as Christians, and if we are going to call ourselves so, we should live as such even if it means that others hate us and call us all sorts of names and spout lies. While the world rejoices, we may weep, but our weeping will turn to Joy.
If we persevere to the end, if we remain in him, he will remain in us, and no matter what happens, if we are the right side of Truth, then we won, and hopefully Jesus will bring a lot of souls home through us because we remained faithful to the end, and did not let the world shape our opinions of what is true and what is not true.