Holy Family

Holy Family

Monday, January 23, 2012

Feast of Saint John the Alms-Giver

Good morning. As you are reading this, in our Nation’s Capital there are hundreds of thousands of marchers who will be peaceably demonstrating against the scandalous tragedy of abortion in our country.  My heart and my prayers are with them.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spent his life, and ultimately gave his life, reminding people that nobody should be excluded from the justice and equality we cherish as a nation. For well over 300 years citizens of this country have given of their lives to protect and affirm the “the sacredness of all human life.” At the heart of the Pro-Life March is that our nation declared 39 years ago that every woman had the right to abort her unborn child, and as recently as this past Sunday our President Barack Hussein Obama, in reference to abortion, declared that "government should not intrude on private family matters." These pathetic misdirected words are but a reminder that this society of ours has lost its moral compass, that we, as a nation, have become mired in a distorted sense of right and wrong. One of the basic tenets of this republic, the right to life has become twisted and reconfigured to exclude a segment of the populace—the unborn child. This is not the first time in this nation’s history that rights have been relegated based upon one’s status as a human being. We are not that far removed from the days of slavery, and even less so from the days of Jim Crow Laws. What is most alarming is that Abortion according to Centers for Disease Control data kills more black Americans than the seven other leading causes of death combined. 

Our Saint for today, Saint John the Alms-Giver lived his life with a profound appreciation for the sacredness of life. He lived each day attending to the needs of those less fortunate than ourselves. He attended to the needs of others so they might live to enjoy life. Our secular society has long forgotten the importance of life. Life for far too many in this country is measured by the extent of pleasure one can obtain and in the words of President Obama, if it is a choice between pleasure and the burden of a baby for his daughters he would choose pleasure. He wouldn’t want his daughters “punished with a baby.” The felt entitlement to happiness and pleasure within our society has led us to the point that the very measure of life itself is contingent upon how it either contributes to or takes away from that felt sense of entitlement. This sense of entitlement to a life of pleasure seems limitless, to the point of redefining God’s influence in our lives. We have forgotten what the founding fathers well knew, that the right to life is not a privilege conferred by government, but by God. As a nation we have turned away from God.

The Gospel for this morning offers very clear words of warning for those who choose to turn away from God’s Love and for a nation divided (Mk 3:22-30). We have become so driven by this felt entitlement for pleasure that the love for our own individual pleasures, rather than God, has become the end, and our nation is divided and could quite possibly be on the path to destruction. Pope Benedict XVI, in a recent ad limina address noted “In America, that consensus, as enshrined in your nation's founding documents, was grounded in a worldview shaped not only by faith but a commitment to certain ethical principles deriving from nature and nature's God. Today that consensus has eroded significantly in the face of powerful new cultural currents which are not only directly opposed to core moral teachings of the Judeo-Christian tradition, but increasingly hostile to Christianity as such.”  May we pray that the leadership of this country puts an end to abortion, and returns the right to life to include all—even the unborn child. May we return to a land where "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."  And, let us pray for the safety of all those marching today, those joining together as a Voice for Life in our Nation’s Capital. Make a great day! 

Today we recall the great life, gifts and work of Saint John the Alms-Giver.

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