THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for April 11th, 2014
Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent
THIS generation is like a man standing on a beach, watching a ship disappear over the horizon. He does not think of what is beyond the horizon, where the ship is going, or where other ships are coming from. In his mind, what is reality is only that which lies between the shore and the skyline. And that is it.
This is analogous to how many perceive the Catholic Church today. They cannot see beyond the horizon of their limited knowledge; they do not understand the transforming influence of the Church over the centuries: how she introduced education, health care, and charities on several continents. How the sublimity of the Gospel has transformed art, music, and literature. How the power of her truths have manifested in the splendor of architecture and design, civil rights and laws.
What they see, rather, are only the follies of a small number of priests, only the mistakes and sins of some of her members, and the lies of revisionists who have distorted the facts of her past. And so, today’s first reading becomes more and more their crude anthem:
Terror on every side! Denounce! let us denounce him!
Indeed, Catholics are fast becoming the new “terrorists” of our time—terrorists against peace, tolerance, and diversity, so they say. Of those who do in fact admit of the Church’s contribution to the foundations of civil society, one can hear the rising chorus of “intellectuals” crying out:
We are not stoning you for a good work but for blasphemy. (Today’s Gospel)
The blasphemy of holding fast to moral absolutes; the sacrilege of having holy convictions; the audacity of believing in the existence of a Creator of the heavens and the earth. Indeed, defending family, babies, and marriage is now deemed “hateful” and “bigoted.”
…this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil. (John 3:19)
But we must not be afraid to stand our ground, for truth is not just doctrine, but a Person. To be on the side of truth is to defend Christ.
Given such a grave situation, we need now more than ever to have the courage to look the truth in the eye and to call things by their proper name, without yielding to convenient compromises or to the temptation of self-deception. In this regard, the reproach of the Prophet is extremely straightforward: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness” (Is 5:20). —BLESSED JOHN PAUL II, Evangelium Vitae, “The Gospel of Life”, n. 58
The climax of the “final confrontation” of our times draws nearer. But this should be a cause, not for sadness, but joy. Because Truth will be victorious, in the end…
The breakers of death surged round about me, the destroying floods overwhelmed me… In my distress I called upon the LORD and cried out to my God; from his temple he heard my voice… he has rescued the life of the poor from the power of the wicked! (Psalm; first reading)
“I read The Final Confrontation. The end result was hope and joy! I pray that your book will serve as a clear guide and explanation for the times we are in and the ones we are rapidly heading towards.” —John LaBriola, author of Onward Catholic Soldier and Christ Centered Selling
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