Sunday, September 04, 2011

A Challenge and an Opportunity

To those who listened today to the readings for the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, I would suggest that the readings provide a challenge to us as well as an opportunity to advance the pro-life message.

The first reading is from Ezekiel:
Thus says the LORD:
You, son of man, I have appointed watchman for the house of Israel;
when you hear me say anything, you shall warn them for me.
If I tell the wicked, "O wicked one, you shall surely die, "
and you do not speak out to dissuade the wicked from his way,
the wicked shall die for his guilt,
but I will hold you responsible for his death.
But if you warn the wicked,
trying to turn him from his way,
and he refuses to turn from his way,
he shall die for his guilt,
but you shall save yourself.
The challenge for us is to do something. WE are not permitted to sit back and allow our fellow man to continue in their sin without us raising the warning call. This applies especially to our political officials who have a special responsibility to protect and defend the weak and defenseless. Not only do we have a duty to warn the errant politician to straighten up, but those in politics are required to do more than give lip service to the Gospel of Life. The admonition is the passage is quite clear. And in all of it, we must act in charity. We cannot approach it from any arrogance or haughtiness but from a perspective that we are duty bound to be a means of their salvation. This then requires a humility that will keep out our egos in check.

The first part of the Gospel reading from Matthew(18:15) is even more clear.
Jesus said to his disciples:
"If your brother sins against you,
go and tell him his fault between you and him alone.
If he listens to you, you have won over your brother.
If he does not listen,
take one or two others along with you,
so that 'every fact may be established
on the testimony of two or three witnesses.'
If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church.
If he refuses to listen even to the church,
then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector.
In this passage, Jesus not only speaks to our duty regarding fraternal correction, he emphasizes that we cannot quit at the first refusal to consider the need for such correction. Let us apply this passage to the abortion issue or the issues surrounding the attack on marriage.

There are politicians who are baptized Catholics and especially for purposes of collecting votes will remind their constituents of that fact. However at the same time they vote contrary to the teachings of the natural law and Nature's God - not to mention the clear teachings of the Gospel and the Catholic Church. When reminded of these errors, they cry "separation of church and state" or that they are "personally opposed, but," and then complain that those challenging them are not involved in fighting capital punishment or protecting the environment. They attack the messenger as not being consistent or being a hypocrite or supporting candidates who start wars. But they never answer the question. Why are they not supporting laws that will provide protection for the unborn, their mothers and society?

These Scripture passages offer a special and unique warning to bishops as well. Every bishop who has a "Catholic" pro-abortion political in his diocese has a duty to follow this admonition for the sake of that politician's immortal soul. And if the political figure does not adhere to the admonition, the bishop has no choice but to "cut him off from the body." In this 'politically correct" world, and given the recent public sins of church officials, many are afraid to act. But to what end? If we truly care about the souls of Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi, we must make it clear that their public ridicule of church teaching forces the Church to act for the sake of their immortal souls. And that also goes for the politicians that forsake the sacred nature of marriage and all that implies.

Now is not the time for the faint of heart Indeed, we are called to be "light" to the world, and "salt" to the earth. If we who are suppose to know better do not act to protect and defend the truth,then who shall stand against the evil that abounds. It is not enough that we go about doing good. We must also confront evil ideas as well as those people who would scandalize the innocent. To that extent we must consider these words of the Old Testament prophet;
You, son of man, I have appointed watchman for the house of Israel;
when you hear me say anything, you shall warn them for me.
Thus says the Lord.
Now what are you going to do?


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