Holy Family

Holy Family

Friday, October 12, 2012

Feast of Saint Wilfrid of York

Good morning. Last night presented for me a mixture of emotions as I flipped back and forth between the ballgame and the vice-presidential debate. Being a life-long Detroit Tigers fan of course I was elated with the outcome of the game between the Athletics and the Tigers. Being a Christian I was disappointed and confused, yet not surprised, by the responses presented by the two men running for the office of vice-president to the question presented on the topic of abortion. The question was cleverly planted by political correspondent and host to President Obama as her wedding guest back in 1991 Martha Raddatz. The question presented was that “We have two Catholic candidates, first time on a stage such as this,” she said. “And I would like to ask you both to tell me what role your religion has played in your own personal views on abortion.”

There is no question that relationships have consequences. Married couples commit themselves to doing certain things out of love for their partner, these actions are not always understood or appreciated but all the same we do things out of love for each other. We likewise do certain things out of love for God. Just as love in marriage is in response to our relationship with God, so too our actions in other parts of our life are in response to our relationship with God. Each candidate for vice-president last night was given an opportunity to publically make known their relationship with their religion and ultimately with their God. Of interest is that neither candidate was overwhelmingly convincing.

Joe Biden suggested that he “accept(s) my church’s position on abortion…life begins at conception in the church’s judgment.” Certainly not an overwhelming endorsement of his Church’s moral teaching. He goes on to suggest “I accept it in my personal life. But I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christians and Muslims and Jews. I do not believe that we have a right to tell other people that – women – they can’t control their body. It’s a decision between them and their doctor.” Not a decision between them and God? 

Paul Ryan on the other hand made known rather convincingly that he believes that “life begins at conception.” but unfortunately went on to say “I respect people who don’t agree with me, but the policy of a Romney administration will be to oppose abortion with the exception for rape, incest, and life of the mother.” The right to life has exceptions? He likewise did a two-step regarding the issue of abortion. Both presented a compromised position regarding the issue of abortion. Politics and faith overlap in this world, our relationship with both determines what choices we make. Ultimately, only God knows which side either candidate is on.

Our secular society has come to the point that it measures right and wrong by how any action might impede upon people’s right to a pleasurable existence. 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. The decision of life itself is relegated to how it impacts the life of the mother, or anyone else who might find a new life inconvenient. 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. 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 our relationship with God is one that too often gets put aside in favor of our own personal opinion of right or wrong or for what is more politically advantageous. The Gospel for this morning offers very clear words of warning for those who choose to turn away from God and for a nation divided (Mk 3:22-30). The life of Saint Wilfrid whose life we honor today reminds us of the need to live our lives in accordance with our convictions. We have become so driven by the love for our own individual pleasures, rather than God that our nation is divided and could quite possibly be on the path to destruction. 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. Make a great day!

Today we recall the good life, gifts, and work of Saint Wilfrid of York.

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