A Timely Homily From A Catholic Priest

SECOND SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME – B 21

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?  For you have been purchased at a price.  Therefore, glorify God in your body.”

            Our new Archbishop, Nelson Perez, ended his homily at his installation saying that “The Holy Spirit works in you, with you, through you, and despite you.”   Those last two words resonated with many people.  They give us hope that despite our imperfections, the Lord does not throw us aside but sees the good that we do and uses us to proclaim his kingdom. 

            How could the Holy Spirit work in us despite ourselves?  Well, first, he is God.  His ways, wisdom, and power are not ours.    God used Moses who murdered an Egyptian to lead his people out of Egypt and slavery.  God used King David who arranged the murder of Bathsheba’s husband Uriah, so he could take her to himself.  God used King Cyrus, a pagan.  He brought God’s Chosen People out of exile from Babylon, welcomed them back to the Promised Land, and helped them rebuild their Temple.  

We, therefore, must not lose sight amid the vilification of President Trump of how God used him, despite himself, in the support of many Godly concerns in our nation, chief among them being pro-life legislation.  There has been no president who has done more for the prolife cause than President Trump.  He has supported legislation reinforcing our religious liberty.  

God also may be using President-elect Joe Biden, at least in a negative way.  He is 100% for abortion.  Often we do not see the picture clearly until someone destroys it.  This often is the only thing that motivates otherwise good people to act on behalf of the unborn. 

As for why God lets this happen, the real question is why do we let this happen?  Do we have eyes that do not see, ears that do not hear, hearts that do not beat for the loss of life in the womb? the loss of our religious freedom, the loss of outlets of truth?

            As far as the violence at the capital goes, all violence is to be condemned.   The violence of the killing of sixty-two million unborn since 1973 must therefore be condemned.  That is genocide, the killing of a whole class of people.    It is right up there with the genocide perpetrated by dictators around the world.   And now we have a President-elect who is 100% for this genocide.  This is insurrection into the capital at its worst camouflaged by the words “reproductive freedom.” This is insurrection against the guarantee of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  They have done far more violence to the sacred temple of legislation that is our capital than what happened a few days ago.  This, while pro-lifers by the thousands are saving the lives of the babies.  Supported by President Trump.

The self-righteousness of those who promote the satanic cult of violence against the unborn while at the same time magnifying a lesser violence at the capital is hypocritical.  It is the pot calling the kettle black.   

I just read that the top selling book in the last two weeks at Amazon is George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984. Dystopian– I had to look that word up.  Dystopian is the opposite of utopian.   IN utopia everything is right.  In dystopia everything is wrong. 

Nineteen Eighty-Four centers on the consequences of totalitarianism, such as that found in Russia in 1948 when the author wrote this book.  In the book there was mass surveillance and repressive regimentation of persons and behaviors in society.  More broadly, the novel examines the role of truth and facts within politics and the ways in which they are manipulated.  The government in this novel uses “The Thought Police” to persecute individuality and independent thinking.  “Big Brother” is the head of the Party.  Concepts that became part of our language include “thoughtcrime,” “Newspeak,” and “memory hole” i.e., the rewriting of history, “2 + 2 = 5,” “Black is white, white is black,” “War is peace.  Peace is war.” 

Today we have our own dystopian vocabulary developing.  Cancel culture, Identity Politics, Critical Theory politics, and the politics of The Great Reset. These contradict Catholic Social Teaching and have already shown their ugly head in words from the new administration.  These too are insurrection.  Find out what they mean so that you recognize them as works of the devil and reject them.    

The media’s filtering of news and Big Tech’s silencing of free speech is not technically against the law.  It is not private institutions but government that may not curtail free speech.  Google just removed from its app store Parler, a free speech app which does not filter speech left or right.  Amazon has cut it off, thus killing this competition.  This is not a question of cutting off free speech but a question of an illegal monopoly of business eliminating competition.  Government has not caught up with this with the appropriate laws.  This is Big Tech making millions off us while permitting only the ideology that agrees with their agenda.   On the other hand, I understand Facebook and Twitter have lost a combined $51 billion in market cap after their decision to ban a sitting president from their platforms.  And subscribers have been turning to other censorship free media.  Instagram and Facebook have since restored President Trumps pages.  It may have been legal but the drop in profits surely should let them know it is unAmerican. 

Why is all this happening?  Let us go back to the quote I used at the beginning.  “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, within you, whom you have from God and that you are not your own?”  Today, it is “my body, my choice.” We belong to ourselves.  Common good is out the window. God is out the window.  But St. Paul tells us “You are not your own. We belong to the Lord.  We have been purchased at a great price.”  Catholic morality is based on the sacredness of every life which is created in the image and likeness of God. 

Our founding fathers are on record saying that democracy only works with a virtuous people.   The clash today is between those who follow the code of moral conduct in the Bible and those who have their own personal code of conduct without reference to anything but themselves. 

            What are we to do as we go forward?  Love of country, patriotism, is a virtue.  We will only be united by issues that we have in common:  family, community, workers, jobs, freedom, and God, etc. We can not be united by the people we hate.  We can only be united by the fundamental truths of what it means to be an American.   Blessed Archbishop Fulton Sheen said this about love.  He was referring to marriage, but it applies to all love. “No one loves who cannot love through disenchantment, disillusion, and deception.”

  What do we do?  We turn to the Lord.   The Letter to the Hebrews tells us, “…we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin.  So, let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.” 

Fr. H. James Hutchins, retired pastor but active priest and chaplain to The Kings Men and The Samson and Emmaus Retreats

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