Here we are, yet another week where a current event has grabbed our attention. It has seemed that the past 3 years have been a time of dramatic transition, change, and turmoil. There is no doubt that in the midst of so many conflicting voices, that this week provided an important victory for people of good will, people who seek truth, justice, and goodness.
The overturning of Roe vs. Wade in the Dobbs decision has been the fruit of a long campaign of prayer and sweet and toil to rid our land of the evil that is abortion. I know that some among us and many Catholics disagree with Church teaching on abortion, and that perhaps not all of us share the joy felt by the Pro-Life movement.
To all of us gathered today, I entreat you to consider that a reckoning is upon all of us who consider ourselves Catholic and Christian. The day is fast approaching when to simply share the Bible in public will be accounted as hate speech. I believe that at some point each of us will be required to make a choice. To accept the Word of God, the Bible, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the unbroken line of true teaching handed down from Jesus to this day or to side with world.
I have made my choice. I would rather lose everything and be accounted as nothing by this world than to forsake the truth I have encountered in Jesus Christ and in his Church.
Some might say, “Father, speak not of politics, but rather give us Jesus.” And this is true. My job is not to convince you of how to engage in the public square, but to teach you unchanging truth and to help you recognize the movement of God’s grace in our lives and in our community.
Along these lines, I remind you of what the Word of God says when in Romans 5:20 we hear “Where sin abounds grace abounds all the more.” We have nothing to fear of evil news or evil times, for we recognize the author of all things is our God and him do we serve. Our Heavenly Father allowed abortion to reign in our country that he might show his power through those who believe and that his elect might be instruments of mercy to a world lost in sin.
Look at the fruits of the Pro-Life movement. In a time when families have been under attack and society has undermined the very core of what it means to be human, lay women and men have arisen who have sought to aid women in crisis pregnancies and to accompany them along the way of healing and reconciliation.
St. Paul VI predicted in Humanae Vitae that contraception and the culture of death would lead to much chaos and confusion in the structure of the family, but in the midst of this evil, our Lord raised up a generation of lay women who patiently sought to fill the void that society had created.
The Pro-Life movement is very much the fruit of the Second Vatican Council that sought to empower the laity to bring their faith to the public square as mature disciples. The Catholics who proudly serve on our Supreme Court and the Catholics who faithfully work to make our country a better place are very much the fruit of a well trained, well educated, and mature laity.
As in Greenville, so in the world. In our little corner of Catholicism, look around you and see how much is done by our parish and by our brother and sisters in Christ. Our outreach to the poor and those on the margins of society is constant. Through St. Peter’s School and JPII Catholic High School, we change lives for the better. Through our Pro-Life ministries, Kaupan’s Men, Refresherspirit, Vagabond Missions, FOCUS, St. Vincent de Paul’s Society, our Knights of Columbus, and our dedicated staff (forgive me if I miss anyone) we carry on the mission of the Church and this is done primarily through the laity of our parish.
This precisely what the Council Fathers envisioned in the Second Vatican Council.
In today’s Gospel and in today’s first reading, we hear our Lord teach about the cost of discipleship. We have these amazing fruits in our parish precisely because many of you have heard this call and answered.
What the future holds, we cannot say for certain. But we know that “all things work to the good of those who believe” (Romans 8:28). We know that God is in charge and the unfolding of history is the manifestation of his plan for the sake of his saints. Let us rest in the truth that God always wins. In the darkness of Roe v Wade, he was preparing the joy of this week’s victory.
The battle is already won. The victory is always Christ’s. Let us rest in our prayers with the knowledge of his love and grace, and let us be refreshed and renewed to carry that peace into the world for the conversion of sinners and the salvation of souls.
But in all things, let us love others as we have been loved.