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The Morning After The Election

November 6, 2012

November 7, 2012, Wednesday, Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time

Philippians 2:12-18. Work out your salvation.  For God is the one who works in you both to desire and to work.

Luke 14:25-33.  Everyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.

Reflection:

To punish Massachusetts for the Tea Party, King George III decided to destroy its economy by blockading Boston’s harbor on June 1, 1774.

Thomas Jefferson drafted a Resolution for a “Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer” to be observed that same day. It was introduced in the Virginia House of Burgesses May 24, 1774, by Robert Carter Nicholas and supported by Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee and George Mason, passing unanimously:

Jefferson wrote, “This House, being deeply impressed with apprehension of the great dangers, to be derived to British America, from the hostile invasion of the City of Boston, in our sister Colony of Massachusetts … deem it highly necessary that the said first day of June be set apart, by the members of this House as a Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer, devoutly to implore the Divine interposition, for averting the heavy calamity which threatens destruction to our civil rights. …”

Gen. George Washington added in his diary, June 1, 1774: “Went to church, fasted all day.”  So thought our Founding Fathers.

It would seem, the day after our election, that half the country – based on the popular vote at least – may have been in for disappointment this morning.  That’s ok.  G.K. Chesterton once said, “The patriot is always a little sad, for wanting what’s best for his country.”  Fasting, humility, and prayer are not new notions to our Church, and are even today, tried-and-true tools to overcome challenges.  Today’s Gospel prepares us, and reminds us of the total and complete dedication necessary to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.  Indeed, not even attachment to family or possessions can stand in the way of the total commitment he demands of his disciples – right down to knowing that an acceptance to the calling of discipleship meant persecution and suffering and hardships and costs unimagined.  We must carry our cross and follow him, even as he carried his cross for us to Calvary.  This is not a decision to be considered lightly – hence the great sacrifice.

Paul reminds the Philippians – and us, of course – to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.  This is our fulfillment of Christian hope, one that will play out in the end of times.  It depends on our individual moral conduct.  The hope that our efforts should not prove to be in vain, is the very instinct that God is with us.  Us.  Not the red camp or the blue camp – but us: the body of Christ – His Church – called into play this day to do His will.  And His will be done.

My spiritual director told me once, that when all was spiritually dry, when all directions where fogged in, and prayer tasted like so much overcooked broccoli, to fall back on reciting this Psalm – the one that ties our readings together today: Psalm 27.

            The Lord is my light and my salvation whom should I fear?

            The Lord is my life’s refuge; of whom should I be afraid?

            One thing I ask of the Lord; this I seek:

            To dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.

Let us trust in God.  Like David.  Like the disciples.  Let us start today, and keep our eyes on the mission we are tasked with by our Baptism.  And God Bless this Nation.

In His Great Love and Friendship,

Papa

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