Mercy for a People in Darkness

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for Monday of the Second Week of Lent, March 2nd, 2015

Liturgical texts here

 

THERE is a line from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings that, among others, jumped out at me when the character Frodo wishes for the death of his adversary, Gollum. The wise wizard Gandalf responds:

Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give that to them? Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends. The Lord of the Rings. The Two Towers, Book Four, I, “The Taming of Sméagol”

Today, there are many “Frodos” judging and condemning this generation. Certainly, the Church can and must call objective evil by its name, pointing out not only the dangers of sin, but the hope that lies in Christ. Yet, the words of Jesus apply to our times as much as they did His:

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. (Today’s Gospel)

For when Christ appeared, it was to “the people who sit in darkness.” [1]cf. Matt 4:16 Today, what could better describe the condition of mankind? All around us, we see the effects of four centuries of the so-called Enlightenment—that period in history when men began to believe the satanic lie that religion was an opiate that blinded the masses, but knowledge and reason the key to opening one’s eyes to true wisdom. This, of course, was exactly the same lie uttered in the Garden of Eden when the serpent urged Eve to eat of the “tree of knowledge.”

God knows well that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, who know good and evil… The woman saw that the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eyes, and the tree was desirable for gaining wisdom. (Gen 3:5-6)

Instead, Adam and Eve were blinded—a demonic trap that continues to snare the proud until our day.

Instead, they became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless minds were darkened. While claiming to be wise, they became fools. (Rom 1:21-22)

The fact is that many today are now being raised in a pagan culture. Illicit sex, materialism, greed, vanity, and the pursuit of pleasure have become the cultural norm— “It’s what everbody does” —at least, that’s the ceaseless message to the young. Furthermore, after Vatican II, [2]Vatican II is not to blame, but the Judases who abused the Council. many seminaries became hotbeds of homosexuality and modernism. Many young priests had their vocations either shipwrecked or their zeal destroyed by the spirit of the world as they entered the priesthood. The fallout has been a Church often without true shepherds, and therefore, an aimless flock—a flock who in turn have failed to witness to the Gospel.

The question then is, how culpable is this generation for its egregious sins?

This is why I believe that a “prodigal son” moment is coming to the world—a moment of illumination when we must make a choice.

The consciences of this beloved people must be violently shaken so that they may “put their house in order”… A great moment is approaching, a great day of light… it is the hour of decision for mankind. —Servant of God, Maria Esperanza (1928-2004), The Antichrist and the End Times, Rev. Joseph Iannuzzi, cf. P. 37 (Volumne 15-n.2, Featured Article from www.sign.org)

…on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death, light has arisen. (Matt 4:16)

On the other hand, God has not been silent. As it says in the first reading today:

We have sinned, been wicked and done evil; we have rebelled and departed from your commandments and your laws. We have not obeyed your servants the prophets…

The Lord has sent messenger after messenger, foremost the Blessed Mother, to call this wayward generation back to Himself. Many have not listened. Still, who are we who have listened to “deal out death in the name of justice”? For…

….yours, O Lord, our God, are compassion and forgiveness! (First reading)

Gandalf goes on to say in the movie version:

My heart tells me that Gollum has some part to play, for good or evil…

Our Lord can make all things work to the good. [3]cf. Rom 8:28 Let us pray, then, that even the terrible evil and rebellion that has torn through our nations may be used to awaken hearts so that they may return Home.

And leave judgment to God.

 

 

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1. cf. Matt 4:16
2. Vatican II is not to blame, but the Judases who abused the Council.
3. cf. Rom 8:28
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