Walking Out of Darkness

01-22-2023From the Pastor's DeskMonsignor Ellsworth R. Walden

Darkness is part of nature. We have the sun to illumine the day. Living in the twenty-first century we have many ways to illumine the darkness with lights. I love the parts of Scripture that speak of the light that God in His goodness brings into our world through His mercy, love, and hope. In the first reading from Isaiah 8:28-9:3 we have these joyful words: “Anguish has taken wing, dispelled is darkness: for there is no gloom where but now there was distress. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone. You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing.”

In recent years we mourned what happened on this day, Jan 22, 1973 when Roe vs. Wade legalized abortion by our Supreme Court. Last year this ruling was overturned, seemingly a cause for joy. But sadly it has only united powerful minds to find ways to reinstate the legality and availability of abortion. A little over a week ago there was a vote in the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. The bill passed but will surely not be passed in the Senate. Sadly the vote in the House of Representatives was along party lines. 220 Republicans voted to pass the bill and all 210 Democrats voted against it. The reverse of the Scripture passage above must be rephrased in our nation to read: “The people who seek to walk in light have enveloped themselves in darkness. There is only gloom, division, and disdain in our midst.” Yes, we are heading further and further into the darkness of evil and Satan is dancing for joy.

We would do well as a nation to heed the words of St. Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians (1:10-13,17) we read at Mass today: “I urge you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose. For it has been reported to me about you, my brothers and sisters, by Chloe's people, that there are rivalries among you. I mean that each of you is saying, "I belong to Paul," or "I belong to Apollos," or "I belong to Cephas," or "I belong to Christ.” Is Christ divided?” Where there are divisions evil has its way. Jesus came to unite us with Himself, the Father, and the Holy Spirit. The fifth commandment was one key parts of God’s covenant with us. If we want to be His people and live in union with Him and one another we must see with depth and clarity what it means when we hear: “You shall not kill.” Technology today has the ability to work wonders for children born early or with health problems. My great-niece Paige is a beautiful example. A fragile child weighing 14 ounces and ten inches long was taken from the womb over four years ago at twenty-four weeks. Today she is a happy, vibrant, active, joyful child in Pre-K. President Biden wants to legalize abortion up to the very day of birth. How evil and sinful! 

The only way I can see to get beyond the evil of abortion that kills more than 1,600 babies every day in our nation is to walk in the light of God’s love, truth and goodness. Only if we are Catholics before we are a Democrat or a Republican will we make a difference and have a chance. This battle has been going on for 50 years now and is still a juggernaut of destruction of evil and death. I condemn no one but we are speeding headlong into the depths of hell with those who are in the majority of our Senate in Washington, D.C., the White House, and in the governorship of our state. May we together walk out of this darkness and the destructive light of the fires of hell.

I offer Responsorial Psalm 27 from Mass today for your personal, prayerful reflection.

R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life's refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?

R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
One thing I ask of the LORD;
this I seek:
To dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD
and contemplate his temple.

R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.