Be Not Afraid

You cannot love God and Money/Power

Be Not Afraid

Greetings on this the Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings: JER 20:10-13; PS 69:8-10, 14, 17, 33-35; ROM 5:12-15; MT 10:26-33

Forward

Please be forewarned this is a hard hitting homily.

Next Year

A good priest friend of mine celebrated his 55th year ordained a priest. As part of his reflection on the year completed and the year to come he said, ‘Next year I will be holy’.

Knowing him in excess of 20 years I recognized the twin message. A bit of humor at his own expense and a recognition that sanctification is a lifelong process. It requires all the disciplines of the Church recommended for priests as well as the prayers of the faithful to help priests on their path of sanctification. In fact, the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus includes the World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests. Maybe I should have prayed harder for him in 2020.

Never the less, he didn’t fail to examine his conscience as a part of his annual memorial of going prostrate and the kissing of the marble before the Lord.

Pitfalls and pratfalls abound in life. Jeremiah faced the constant possibility of any and all ‘misstep of mine’ would be the vector by which the attacks come. Sure enough this is a common reality that all of us should be able to relate to his situation in the ordinary sense of it. Office politics is a common phrase for it. Palace intrigue is the arena Jeremiah operated in the ancient Washington, DC.

In his case he was urging behavior in opposition to the popular sentiment. A stiffened necks and disobedient hearts had moved them to despise the warnings of Jeremiah and to look for any opportunity to destroy him.

Jeremiah was given a very difficult task about speaking the truth. Simply, ‘If you bring forth the precious without the vile, you shall be my mouthpiece. (Jer 15:19b). Not an easy task. Every prophet must master his desire to grow angry with a righteous anger that tramples the violator and the prophet together. Jesus instead insists upon being meek and humble.

Precious and Vile Time

We live in a precious and vile time. A time of contradiction and a fear that transcends viruses and bad governance but rather a fear of our own desires and the truth about those desires. The truth that exposes and reveals the inner fears we possess, rather, that possess us.

In modern language we call it rationalization.

Curses and Curses

(No names, true stories).

I have many acquaintances on LinkedIn from a long career in business. I also have many acquaintances of people I worshiped with in the Church. Both groups are on LinkedIn.

Story One

 Years ago when our daughters were young my little girl developed some foul language. She taught another girl the same. Not the finest moment in the life but a story worth telling.

The parents of the second girl came to my home and retold the story as they know it. Fair enough I insisted my daughter listen to the complaint as it is in fact serious business to use foul language.

But things turned ugly. The father grew angrier and angrier as he told the same story over and over again. I would interject we understand and certainly apologize and will work to not repeat the problem. He insisted in repeating the story each time getting more and more agitated. I mean seriously agitated. Knowing something of people who have made a practice of entering in to a rage by slowly increasing volume and increasing the intensity of their feelings and comments something had to be done. Finally, I had to call an end to the diatribe. I explained he has made his point repeatedly, there is no point continuing and knew if I didn’t stop him this would enter possibly violent rage.

It took a bit to get him to stop and leave my home.

Story One Redux

Reading this man’s posts on LinkedIn he expresses by way of shares and link his disapproval of the Black Lives Matter movement. It hit me. Hard.

This man could barely contain himself over kids using bad words so much so that he might just have gone into a rage over it. Yet he explicitly will not defend Black men wanting to defend their family and children from implicit and overt racism.

In today’s Gospel Jesus warns ‘Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known’.

This error in thinking is described by Our Lord as FEAR. FEAR and all its entrapments. Fear of the different, fear of competing interests, fear of losing what you rightfully gained, and fear of every bias we are exposed to by the race baiters.

Being fearful and afraid are the enemies of the Christian life.

Even still Jesus warns if you deny him he will deny you. Period. You cannot act like a trapped animal or a discovered thief wanting to fight your way out of it.

Christian men who congratulate themselves on pious speech and the defense of proper grammar and yet scoff at men fighting for their very families by way of the BLM movement are fearful pagans. There is no Christ in them.

Story Two

Met another former coworker in the grocery store yesterday. Pleasantries. Why aren’t you wearing a mask? Literally the litany of science denying, political advantage promoting excuses and proclamations.

I assured him that Covid-19 is very deadly not just for the aged whom he cares nothing for but for any who get sick. It is a complete gamble. I described my work in these days.

How many people have you seen die?

Really you ask such a question.

Can you be so willfully ignorant as to make claim the pandemic is a figment of imagination. Fear. Fear that your advantage will be lost by way of a virus.

He literally said the annual pneumonia deaths are equal to the COVID-19. Of course the difference is 3 months verses 12 months. The correlation is times 4. Madness. Fear of ideological loss nationwide allows him to calculate the death of old people as a statistical noise.

Natural death is not when we willfully allow those vulnerable to be subjected to mortal danger. There is no Christianity in this position.

Story Two Redux

Tomorrow I visit another family. In this case I must explain what induced coma is and the survival rate is 20%. In this case I have to describe how to be sanitary and isolation focused when six family members are infected and the head of household may never come home again. What did these people do wrong? Nothing, except be alive in a time where the President makes jokes about slowing down testing to improves his popular standing. A family facing possible annihilation. The Department of Health shrugs the shoulders. The newspapers write the warm fuzzy articles.

Even still Jesus warns if you deny him he will deny you. Period. You cannot act like a trapped animal or a discovered thief wanting to fight your way out of it.

Fear is Your God

How can it be that people are being discarded so thoughtlessly? COVID-19 families, do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. The Lord in his great love will answer you.

How can it be that people are being denied the fullness of BLM? Black families, do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. The Lord in his great love will answer you.

I say Fathers, Happy Father’s Day. Your Father in Heaven wants you to protect your families. Be persistent in BLM. Protest, march, speak up and let’s stop the madness.

But for you who act pious O warn you that you deny these little ones. Then know the certainty of Divine denial.

Repent.

Peace be with you,  

Deacon Gerry

One thought on “Be Not Afraid

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.