Friday, November 9, 2012

God walked with us this election week

I can't help but think that the readings for Mass this week, the readings that are universal to the Church -- they are not just meant for the Church in America -- were somehow meant just for us. With the election on Tuesday not resulting favorably for religious freedom or economic prosperity for the citizens of this fair land, everyone needed some hope and encouragement. And, that was to be found in the Liturgy of the Word. Read how the week progressed:

Monday (day before the election): Phil 2:1-4

Brothers and sisters:
If there is any encouragement in Christ,
any solace in love,
any participation in the Spirit,
any compassion and mercy,
complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love,
united in heart, thinking one thing.
Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory;
rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves,
each looking out not for his own interests,
but also everyone for those of others

The day before the election, we were being implored to be of one heart and one mind with Christ in all that we do. It's never about us, it's about God and others first. And, those little babies who have no one but us to speak for them, to protect them, they needed us to vote the next day to preserve their lives. And, the part about vainglory and selfishness? We needed to stop the wasteful spending, the handouts, and bring justice back into our system of government through our vote.

Tuesday (election day): Lk 14:15-21

One of those at table with Jesus said to him,
"Blessed is the one who will dine in the Kingdom of God."
He replied to him,
"A man gave a great dinner to which he invited many.
When the time for the dinner came,
he dispatched his servant to say to those invited,
'Come, everything is now ready.'
But one by one, they all began to excuse themselves.
The first said to him,
'I have purchased a field and must go to examine it;
I ask you, consider me excused.'
And another said, 'I have purchased five yoke of oxen
and am on my way to evaluate them;
I ask you, consider me excused.'
And another said, 'I have just married a woman,
and therefore I cannot come.'
The servant went and reported this to his master.
Then the master of the house in a rage commanded his servant,
'Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town
and bring in here the poor and the crippled, the blind and the lame.'
The servant reported, 'Sir, your orders have been carried out
and still there is room.'
The master then ordered the servant,
'Go out to the highways and hedgerows
and make people come in that my home may be filled.
For, I tell you, none of those men who were invited will taste my dinner.'"

So, many were invited, and they turned their backs. Many were asked to come to the table of the Lord, but they excused themselves; excused themselves from the teachings of the Church in their vote against Life and liberty. It was a tragedy to see so many who claim to be Catholic vote for a president who is pro-abortion, and espouses socialist doctrines that limit personal freedoms and responsibility.

Wednesday (the somber day after the election) Phil 2:12-18

My beloved, obedient as you have always been,
not only when I am present but all the more now when I am absent,
work out your salvation with fear and trembling.

For God is the one who, for his good purpose,
works in you both to desire and to work.
Do everything without grumbling or questioning,
that you may be blameless and innocent,
children of God without blemish
in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation,
among whom you shine like lights in the world,
as you hold on to the word of life,
so that my boast for the day of Christ may be
that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.
But, even if I am poured out as a libation
upon the sacrificial service of your faith,
I rejoice and share my joy with all of you.
In the same way you also should rejoice and share your joy with me.

The Lord knew that many of us would be in need of consolation and bolstering of spirit. With a resolute first reading, we hear that our salvation must be worked out "in fear and trembling". And, we are reminded that we did not work in vain and should rejoice regardless of our sense of loss -- not just for our candidate but for our nation and our Holy Church which is in the midst of persecution. 

Thursday (two days after the election, numb but resolute) Phil 3:3-8

Brothers and sisters:
We are the circumcision,
we who worship through the Spirit of God,
who boast in Christ Jesus and do not put our confidence in flesh,
although I myself have grounds for confidence even in the flesh.

If anyone else thinks he can be confident in flesh, all the more can I.
Circumcised on the eighth day,
of the race of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin,
a Hebrew of Hebrew parentage,
in observance of the law a Pharisee,
in zeal I persecuted the Church,
in righteousness based on the law I was blameless.

But whatever gains I had,
these I have come to consider a loss because of Christ.
More than that, I even consider everything as a loss
because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.

Paul entreats us to remember that this world is not what we live for. Our glory is not in the flesh; not of this world; not based on the outcomes of elections; but rather, we will know glory in life everlasting. That requires us to keep up the good fight, and to be confident in God's plan for salvation. Do not give up! Do not stop fighting the good fight for the conversion of souls and for justice.

Friday (Feast of the dedication of St. John Lateran Basilica -- emboldened 3 days after the election) 1 Cor 3:9-11,16-17)

Brothers and sisters:
You are God's building.
According to the grace of God given to me,
like a wise master builder I laid a foundation,
and another is building upon it.

But each one must be careful how he builds upon it,
for no one can lay a foundation other than the one that is there,
namely, Jesus Christ.

Do you not know that you are the temple of God,
and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
If anyone destroys God's temple,
God will destroy that person;
for the temple of God, which you are, is holy.

 There is nothing to fear, but rather, zeal for the Faith must be your attitude. Jesus is building this foundation, and we must carefully nurture it through proper catechesis and prayer. Then, as a result of the fire that has been ignited in our souls this past week as we watched Americans vote to continue the reckless decline of our nation, we can boast like Paul, that we are the dwelling place of the Spirit of God. No one can destroy that temple. We have a job to do in this Year of Faith -- Grow in love of God and neighbor and spread the Good News.

God walked with each of us this past week through this election process. He will not leave us now. The victory is won, of course, but we still have a lot of work to do in this vale of tears to restore all things to the Father. The imperative to overcome evil with love is all the more significant because of the election outcome. Don't you agree?

1 comment:

AJay said...

What an awesome post! Thank you!