Love Never Says: "I Have Done Enough"

11-06-2022From the Pastor's DeskMonsignor Ellsworth R. Walden

The Gospel today (Luke 20:27-38) speaks about life after death and most importantly heavenly existence. We do not anticipate life after birth when we are in the womb but are truly grateful for the gift of life and all those who have enriched, guided, and sustained us with their love. This Gospel passage calls us to trust that God will take care of us and we will be at peace with Him and one another.

Since we are not there yet, I once again ask for your patience and understanding as we use this second Sunday to speak the financial health of our parish and the need for your continued support. I am truly grateful for your past and continued support which enables us to be a vibrant, loving, and helpful presence to one another and a true image of what it means to be Church together. When I teach young children how to spell church I say:C-H-YOU-ARE-C-H, pointing to them and asking them to point to one another with as they say the words YOU ARE. We certainly are the Church and the living presence of God’s goodness, love, mercy, and humility with one another.

The second issue that I want to speak about continues to be pushed before our faces in the commercials that politicians are presenting on TV and in the mail - the issue of abortion. Last week I wrote about the parallel between slavery and abortion, as slavery caused the Civil War and at the price of more than 620,000 total deaths from the North and South combined brought about the 13th Amendment which abolished slavery. The mantra that the pro-abortion supporters continue to push is that a woman has a right over her body. She certainly has. But they stop right there. How blessed you woman are and how crucial you are to carry us in you wombs and bring us to birth and you never stop nourishing us with your love. Sex is a gift from God that enables us to fulfill His command: “God created mankind in his image in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and God said to them: Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.” (Genesis 1:27-28). Of course sex is also an experience that expresses love, commitment, and joy in the sacrament of marriage. The most unexpected pregnancy happened just over 2,000 years ago when the angel Gabriel appeared to the Blessed Virgin Mary and said, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:30-33).

God never gives up. He is the perfect example of this line I read recently: “Love never says I have done enough.” Throughout the Old Testament God sent prophets to speak to His people and they were rejected. Jeremiah (650-570 B.C.) called the people to repent of their sinfulness and failure to trust in God and His way. He was thrown into a cistern to die, but was rescued. Tradition tells us that he was probably stoned to death. Elijah was a great prophet who lived and preached 900 years before Jesus was born, but was rejected by the queen of Israel, Jezebel. She tried to kill him, but in the end he prevailed over the pagan prophets. Now in the twenty-first century many of our political leaders are running on defending the killing of children through abortion. How can human beings kill the most innocent among us? The political message is very clear. The prophet Amos was told to get lost and he defended himself by saying: “To Amos, Amaziah said: “Off with you, seer, flee to the land of Judah and there earn your bread by prophesying! But never again prophesy in Bethel; for it is the king’s sanctuary and a royal temple.” Amos answered Amaziah, “I am not a prophet, nor do I belong to a company of prophets. I am a herdsman and a dresser of sycamores, but the LORD took me from following the flock, and the LORD said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.” Amos preached in 786-746 B.C. 

History is certainly repeating itself. To reject God and His way is to be no smarter than those who have rejected Him throughout history. We have many more comforts and much more technology in the twenty-first century, but promoting and supporting abortion shows how morally bankrupt we are. Who has the courage to speak up and defend the most vulnerable among us? Can we not learn from history that to defend evil is to cause the decay and dissolution of our nation?

God’s love never says I have done enough. Greater than all the prophets is God Himself in the person of Jesus Christ who humbled Himself and came to live among us and open our minds and hearts to God’s love and presence. As the Church we are not people who are waving rules, commandments, and teachings, but first and foremost, people who are living in union with Jesus Christ, God Himself, who became one with us in love and mercy so we may be one with Him in love and mercy.

I close with these two quotes from Bishop Robert Barron’s book “Vibrant Paradoxes - the Both/And of Catholicism.”

“God is a great gathering force, for by his very nature he is love; but the devil’s work is to sunder, to set one against the other. Whenever communities, families, nations, and churches are divided, we sniff out the diabolic.”

“An extraordinarily important aspect of the good news of Christianity is that Jesus, through his death and resurrection has won the victory over these dark forces….. Jesus has entrusted to his Church the means to apply this victory - the weapons, if you will, to win the spiritual war. These are the sacraments, (especially the Eucharist and Confession, the Bible, personal prayer, the rosary, etc. One of the tragedies of our time is that so many Catholics have dropped these weapons.”