Friday, October 6, 2017

Am I a part of the problem, or the solution.....

horrible act of terrorism

I am trying to figure out how to address this past weekend’s events in Las Vegas.  I start first with the underlying message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Love, Life, Mercy, Change of heart, eternal life. It is doubtful that of those themes of the Gospel could have prevented this terrorist attack again on our soil. And again some voices are saying that this is God’s will that these things happen for some kind of punishment. It’s easy to blame God for the problems in our world, in our neighborhoods, and in our relationships.  After all, God is all-powerful, and therefore can bring about any changes God wants.  And that means that if there is something lacking, it must be because God is not providing it, right?  Of course not. It really has to do with us, not God.  We are given total freedom to decide how we will act.  Total freedoms to decide how we protect ourselves. We all have the freedom and the power.

In other words, if I’m part of the reason that the world isn’t as God wants it to be, then I need to be part of the solution.  God has given and continues to give us every single thing we need to make this world the beautiful place he created it to be.  It’s not that God needs to do more.  I need to do more.  We all need to do more --- give more and love more and care more. Perhaps start by living our faith; out Christian Catholic faith.  Yes living what we proclaim at every mass in our Creed, that we believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.  And that our Eucharist is not only our communion with Christ, but what he left us in that same Church.

This doesn’t mean that we can solve every problem by trying harder, or cure every ill simply by working toward that end.  Many things involve the freedom of others, and for things to be different in our lives and in the world, it will often require that others make an effort too.  But we should never underestimate the difference one faithful person can make, or never underestimate what our families can do when we work together, or never underestimate the potential of a community of faith such as ours. Catholic Christianity is counter cultural and if we are not living a life that challenges the status quo, especially in issues of life and death, we will continue to experience horrific events. God gave us all a share in God’s light in baptism…how well to we allow that light to shine?

October is a month that our church commits to respecting life in all its forms, from conception to natural death. Next Sunday we will have a great pancake breakfast to support pregnant students so they do not have to decide between an education and bringing forth their child. That is the abundant life that God desires. It takes faith to believe in a world of abundance, a world in which God provides every single thing that we need.  But that’s who we are as Catholic Christians and that is what our church teaches.  And so maybe the question, “What more was there to do for my vineyard that I had not done?” isn’t God’s question at all.  Maybe it needs to be ours.  And maybe each of us needs to answer it honestly.