St. Michael's Parish - Cobourg

Fixing the World -Homily June 19, 2016

Fixing the World                                                                         -Homily June 19, 2016

                                         

A man found me in a store and asked me something like this: “Father, why this influence of the evil spirit? Why all this issue of same sex marriage and so much evil in the world? Why does the Church not speak more clearly about this? Why does nobody fight for these things?” A very complicated question. I was just coming out from the store, after buying a tooth paste for teeth sensitivity. Imagine. A tube of tooth paste in my right hand, and a man asking me how to fix the world.

 

Well, this is more or less what I told him. God is not sending fire from heaven as he did once to the cities of Sodom and Gomorra. There must be a reason for that. There may be more than ten righteous people in the world. If God is patient with those who do evil, we must pray for them, talk to them to convince them, but not hurt them or kill them. It is easy to get rid of the ones we disagree with, but we have to love them. Samaritans were wrong, but Jesus did not mind talking to a Samaritan woman, and to be seen talking to her at the well (John 4). That’s how he got her back on track. Jesus did not mind eating and drinking with sinners and being in the houses of sinners, in order to convert them. Mind you, he was Jesus. Not everyone can do that. But don’t judge when you see a good person talking to a person who is wrong and being kind to that person. Not everyone is called to do that, but at least, we are all called to pray for the conversion of those who are wrong.

 

I told him also that in my view, the problem is not basically the sexual issues. The radical problem, the root of the problem, is the lack of values and the lack of truth in society. How do I tell a person that this or that is wrong, if for that person everything is right, provided you are “authentic with yourself”? How do I say to a person that this is true or false, if for that person everyone has his or her own truth? Truth, they say, is a matter of decision: for many people nowadays, truth is not a rule that should model our decisions, but a rule that is made by our decisions. “If we all agree, this is truth. And if you don’t agree with us, you are out, you are excluded.” Our “inclusive” society is a deception: if you are not a friend of those who have the power, you will be excluded sooner or later. If you don’t agree with the majority, you will be excluded. “If you don’t fit into the system we have created, if you are sick or handicapped or too old or a disturbing not yet born baby, you will be excluded.” Very often the one who has the power says what you can think: and if you disagree, you will be in trouble.

 

That is why the way to fix the world is education. Education of our children first of all, in our homes and in our schools. We have to tell our children that there is a right and a wrong, a true and a false, and the only thing that makes you happy is to discover the truth and embrace it: “The truth shall set you free” (John 8:32) You are free only when you know the truth about God and about yourself. You are free when you know who you are, where you come from and where you are going. You can really make decisions when you are informed, when you know. Only the one who knows the truth can make free decisions. Because a decision is the election of something in order to be happy. But if you don’t know where happiness is, how can you make an informed decision? If you don’t know the consequences of your decisions, how can you make an informed decision? How can we be truly free if we don’t know the truth?

 

It is an illusion to think that we are free because we can do whatever we want. Those who say they are free are doing exactly what other people want them to do, what other people decided for them. They buy what they are told to buy, they learn what they are told is “science,” they dress as they are told to dress, they think as they are told to think. Too often the Mass Media are not being a good influence on our kids and on our own minds.

 

The only way to empower our children is to let them know who they are, where they come from, and where they are going. If we want them to be happy, we have to teach them the way: it is the way of the commandments, that may be hard to walk, and sometimes hard to understand, but it is the only way. There is no time to experience if there is another way: once you try the wrong path, it is very difficult to come back. We need to lead our children firmly on the right path, until they are able to follow it by themselves, out of conviction. If we don’t do that, we are endangering the future of our children.

 

We ourselves have to grow in knowledge and conviction of these things. The good teacher is the one who is convinced of what he or she says, and the best teacher is the one who teaches with his or her life. We need models, we need heroes again. The youth are attracted by beauty, and there is nothing more beautiful than a good life, lived out of love. Jesus is not only the Word incarnate, but also Love incarnate, love made flesh. We have to be like him. May our lives reflect the glory of God, may our lives reflect his goodness and his mercy, for everybody to see and give glory to God.

–Fr. Andrew