Saturday, January 4, 2020

Homily for Epiphany: Stop Trashing People

Implications of the wisemen

1) God loves every person, and because of that, ALL people are called to Christ, and reason/science/thinking and God’s grace lead all people to the doorstep of Christ, and God continues to call to them until their last breath

2) It is not enough to be called by Christ – you have to GO to Him and do him homage

3) The wisemen go back to their culture – every culture needs to be transformed by Christ

Contrary to this:

1) People at some point can be abandoned as less human – God gives up on them and so can we
a.       One major manifestation of this – the polarization
b.      The USCCB has tons of initiatives, can’t talk about them all, but I really like “Civilize It”
1.       A call for us to look at how we speak to each other always, and in this election year

2.       It isn’t just other cultures that need Christ, our own has forgotten God, and many today think all the good things that we experience have nothing to do with the foundations and beliefs of those on whose shoulders we stand

3.       We have become a cruel people – and our language shows this


b.      But look at the fact that we use Words like “those people” or “savages” “them” “deplorable” “elites” – do you think some group of people is LESS human, has less dignity, or has committed some act that renders them now deserving less dignity?  Muslims, migrants, the unborn, Christians, blacks, whites, secularists, Buddhists, prisoners, Jews, Catholics, liberals, conservatives

Senator Ben Sasse wrote a book two years ago of which I think the title accurately assesses the situation – “THEM: why we hate each other and how to heal”

Politics is certainly a place for discussion and disagreements about policies on how best to handle issues like immigration, prisoners, etc. this isn’t a homily about politics…there can’t be a THEM for any Catholic. 

2) FALSE: Some people do not need to come to Christ since God loves everyone

a.       Completely contrary to the Scriptures:  Peter says in Acts of the Apostles: “There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.”

b.      Why would the wisemen make the travel, and why would people give their lives heroically for over a thousand years to travel to foreign lands as priests and religious sisters to bring the news of Christ and His Church to others? 

3) FALSE: Cultures need not be rooted in Christ, they are fine on their own, they are good
a.       What is good in our own culture is due to its Christian and Catholic grounding
b.      What has gone wrong in our culture can be traced precisely to the point where we have abandoned God

Every person has dignity, and we need to honor that dignity, even while having important discussions and disagreements. 
All people need Jesus Christ
All cultures/communities/societies need Christ.  Bring him to your culture/community/and society.

The wisemen were called, they went, they genuflected, they went home to their culture with the Good news.  May we do the same

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