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Capital Hill Comedy: It’s Tragic

October 11, 2013

Thursday, October 10, 2013, Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Malachi 3:13-20. The day is coming, blazing like an oven.
Luke 11:5-13. Ask and you will receive.

Gospel Reflection:

Praise be to Jesus Christ! For evermore!

Brothers and sisters, let’s have a show of hands: who here watches the news? And who is a little dismayed and maybe disheartened by the goings on by our Nation’s leaders in the news. Unprecedented closures, intimidations, partisan threats. Portents of doom and gloom. Last vote: Who here today feels encouraged by these antics? I’m a Federal employee, listed as ‘essential’, who is at work every day – for an I.O.U.! Almost hard to believe what is going on, isn’t it? But this is what happens when we put our faith in Man. Just as many today, the Prophet Malachi could no longer remain silent at the liturgical abuses of his time, and answered the question, “Where is the God of justice?” with, “The day of the Lord is coming.” Indeed the Prophet pre-introduces us to the forerunner, who will prepare the way – John the Baptist. And Malachi, today, in his Last Oracle, tells us the answer: of those who fear the Lord and trust in his name, ‘I will have compassion on them, as a man has compassion on his son who serves him’. Distinction between the just and the wicked. G.K. Chesterton writes, “In the best Utopia, I must be prepared for the moral fall of any man in any position at any moment; especially for my fall from my position at this moment”(Chesterton, Orthodoxy). Judgment.

Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

We also hear the answer in our responsorial psalm which points out the destinies of the good and the wicked in Psalm 1, a psalm expressing ‘true happiness in God’s Law; and where the faithful should walk in the Antiphon from Psalm 40, a psalm of David’s thanksgiving of gratitude as well as a prayer for help. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord! Brothers and sisters, fear not the doom and gloom of the day, for blessed are they who hope in the Lord. Indeed.

And it’s hard! We live in a day and age where it seems our government is ready to pull apart at the seams. Unprecedented hostilities and disregard for the dignity of the human person. Euthanasia, which means ‘merciful death’, and so our most honored citizens also have to worry about some agency that wants to be merciful to them. Our politicians stand and stamp their feet about the terrible happenings in Syria, and the reported death of hundreds of children by lethal chemicals – and make no mistake, it is terrible – all the while standing by turning a blind and ignorant eye on the horrible chemical deaths of millions of the pre-born here in the land of the free.

Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

The Lord himself tells us in his Gospel, be persistent! “Ask and you shall receive; seek and you shall find; knock and the door will be opened.” Yesterday he taught us how to pray, the Lord’s Prayer. It is a good prayer! When I was being taught how to instruct a class, back in my Navy days, we were told to ‘touch all the bases – you can’t score unless you touch all the bases. Well, the Pater Noster touches all the bases of the good Christian petition! Today Jesus emphatically teaches, you just got to ask! You just got to seek. You just got to knock. You have to want the salvation he offers.

I am disappointed by the antics of those who represent me in our government. But let it serve to remind: When people ask me how I vote, I tell them I vote Catholic. I don’t concern myself with Blue State or Red State, Democrat or Republican. Or this fancy orator or that next one that comes along. I vote my faith – it’s much more reliable. That way I can participate in the process, embrace social justice, expect dignity from conception to natural death, demand fiscal responsibility, and absolutely not budge in ideals of morale integrity. I will strive to be written into the record book as one who trusted in His name. For blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

This past Sunday was Respect Life Sunday. A day to count our blessings and be thankful, a day to help others count theirs, and point out where true dignity lies. Today, as we receive the Bread of Angels, as we partake in the Blessed Sacrament, pray the Communion Antiphon from Lamentations in your thoughts and heart, “The Lord is good to those who hope in him, to the soul that seeks him” (Lam 3:25).

And these times we live in? These, too, shall pass…

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