By some work of the Spirit, this Sunday’s readings speak somewhat of the mood of the world following this week’s US Elections. The surprised world greeted Trump’s victory with fear. Many fear this to be the beginning of the end. Doomsday scenario as painted in the first reading. “The day that is coming is going to burn them up leaving them neither root nor stalk”.
Red state, blue state, this has been a divisive campaign with many issues threatening core values. Protests on the streets and on social media indicate that wounds run very deep and healing is much needed. Yes, the President of America can start a healing process and he must. But amidst all this uncertainty and fear, a government has no power to change our inner state, our core values and reset our moral compass; that power still belong to us as individuals.
Governments may not always make pro-life choices. As a government they can legalise abortion, and as a government allow for that choice. But it is up to the individual to decide based on their own belief. We cannot force a non-Catholic to conform to what Catholics believe in. We could vote blue but still make Catholic choices.
We must not allow governments to dictate who we can become. They are a kingdom of this world. If every individual have been living according to the laws of the kingdom of heaven, the world would not be even near this divisive state. “Nations will fight against nations, and kingdom against kingdom”. Beneath all this rubble, it is within our power to retain our values as a Catholic.
And make a difference. There has been no better “opportunity to bear witness”, no better sign to show that the only kingdom that can withstand total destruction is that of God’s.
Governments can build walls and divide God’s people through colour, race and religion. How have we arrived back here? We must look deep inside ourselves and see if there aren’t already walls we ourselves have built inside us. If the walls are there, there is little difference who a physical wall along the border can keep out. We could vote red but still make Catholic choices.
The sooner we realise this the better. There will only be one kingdom that will reign. “All these things you are staring at now – the time will come when not a single stone will be left on another; everything will be destroyed”
Let us not live in fear of a presidency but let us live in fear of God; to “fear God” is different from being scared and afraid of a president’s policies (and lifestyle!) but to have awe, wonder and reverence for God and to be subjects of his love.
“But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness will shine out with healing in its rays”
In our everyday life, the election isn’t over. In every moment we can choose to love and be righteous in all be do. We can bring walls down and bring healing in.
Hey man, we all need the sun.
33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time