Sermons

Summary: One of the first things we ask a candidate is to renounce Satan, all His works–that’s sin I guess you know–and all His promises and ceremonies.

Tuesday of the 156th Week in Course 2020

Plague Year homilies

In the days we are now experiencing I suspect that nearly all of us would agree with the Psalmist that we want the Lord to judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations on earth. But that is a prayer for every age, every condition. So let’s talk about equity, and contrast it with egalitarianism, and talk a bit about socialism and communism.

“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.-- That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” Thus wrote Thomas Jefferson in the second paragraph of the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Now the Constitution and Bill of Rights tell us that the unalienable rights are to life, liberty and property, the latter being needed, I believe, for the pursuit of happiness. Note that the Declaration does not guarantee happiness. But note before everything the two words “created” and “Creator.” God makes everyone who comes from the union of human man and woman into a human, body and soul, with infinite human dignity. It is not the state that makes us equal, or makes us human, or gives us rights. Those come from Almighty God, and they can only be taken away from us if we consciously and freely commit certain evil acts.

The Psalmist tells God“thou dost judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth.” What is this “equity”? It means there is a single standard for human behavior. We know this from Exodus and the long-standing teaching of the Church that it is based on the Ten Commandments. All humans are held to those standards; we call the collection of seven commandments aimed at human behavior toward each other the divine natural moral law. At the foundation of that is the divine intent to bless and protect the human family. That’s one man and one woman united in total fidelity for life for the purpose of mutual blessing and the raising up of godly offspring. And we would add, of course, as Christians, for the purpose of having all of the members of that family unite after death in heaven.

The Lord is deadly serious about that plan for human beings. When the nations of Palestine, at the time of Joshua, used religion as an excuse to murder their firstborn, engage in sexual debauchery and drunkenness, and oppress the poor, He dispossessed them of their land and gave it to the Hebrews. When they violated the covenant and acted like the nations they had inherited the land from, doing all those inhuman things, God threw them out of the land, too. That is the basic meaning of God’s judgement. He created human beings in His image and likeness. He gave us some simple rules, basically to respect each others’ rights, especially our mother and father. He gives us many blessings. If we mess up and disobey His simple rules, He takes those blessings away. And if we fall into the hands of demons, well, then, He needs to act to root those out and send them back to hell.

Thus, Our Lord, as He was training His Church leaders, “he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal.” One of the first prayers in traditional baptism is a prayer of exorcism. One of the first things we ask a candidate is to renounce Satan, all His works–that’s sin I guess you know–and all His promises and ceremonies. Some priests are designated by their bishop as exorcists, specially trained and empowered to drive out demons. When a Connecticut church was attacked recently and plastered with satanic symbols, the monks who served there closed it and prepared for an exorcism. The devil is real, and he is attacking the Church all the time, but it seems especially today. All this business about adopting socialism is just bait he is strewing about in one of the political parties. When we try to enforce equal outcomes, we hurt everyone, especially the poor. And it inevitably leads to communism. But we know that the Old Worm's game is up. He’s already lost the battle. Anything he does to us now is an attempt to bat at the bottom of the 9th when he’s down infinity to nothing. But he wants to devour some more souls as we all wait for the angel to sound the trumpet that announces the return of Our Lord in power and glory to gather all the nations in one assembly forever, and take the sheep with him and turn the goats into cabrito.

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