WEDNESDAY HOMILY: Gratitude for Government?
HYTHE, KENT, UK (Catholic Online) - A woman showed up at the rectory with her baby boy who had stopped breathing. She said she was going to get medical help, but wanted us to baptize him first. We did. On the way to the hospital the boy mysteriously began breathing again. The doctor said there was nothing wrong with him. She came back to the parish.
I saw something on her face that I have rarely ever seen - true and pure gratitude. At that moment, looking upon the face of this woman, for one split second, the very thin veil that lies between the world of grace and this world was lifted and there I saw before my eyes the One who was visiting us in disguise - Jesus Christ. It was he who came to us that day and he who is the grateful One.
Gratitude. Got some?
One out of ten of the lepers in the Gospel for today showed it, and he was a Samaritan. Just as he was given the further gift of another encounter with Jesus Christ, who said to him, "Stand up and go, your faith has saved you," so those with gratitude are given not only the blessing of cementing the graces deeper in their hearts that they have been given, but also open themselves to further graces and blessings.
Gratitude is one of the most healthy and healing things there is. It is one of the most psychologically and emotionally sound attitudes toward life. Gratitude is real. It is also real hard some times. Here is one for you. Are you grateful to God for your government? That is what the first reading indicates. "Remind them to be under the control of magistrates and authorities, to be obedient, to be open to every good enterprise."
WHAT? Be obedient to Obama? Are you nuts?
This is what shows whether your faith is centered truly on Christ or if it is still catered to your own preferences and will.
Is God, God? Is he in charge of the government? Are Jesus' words about the government of the day true (to Pilate), "You would have no power were it not given to you from above"? Is Jesus the Lord of history and the Holy Spirit its protagonist?
If God is still in charge of the whole scheme of things, he has allowed this present government to be elected and we must first give thanks for the gift of ordered government and then cooperate with it as much as possible so that we can bring all things to be pleasing to God.
I personally can't stand the fact that Obama was re-elected, however, I pray sincerely for him at every mass. He has a big job to do and has been given one of the most powerful and influential roles in the contemporary world. Woe to me if I don't pray for him. I pray.
I don't angrily bark at God and ask him why things are the way they are or become another bitter voice amongst the whiners and howlers - too many of those around. I sincerely from the heart with faith in God's mercy and providence ask God to bless the government that all things that it does may come into accordance with the holy Will of God.
Obedience is not easy and although we ...
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