Reflections on the Readings
August 2, 2015 - Year B
Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Truth is in Jesus
Now this I affirm and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds; they are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart; they have become callous and have given themselves up to licentiousness, greedy to practice every kind of uncleanness. You did not so learn Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus. (Ephesians 4:17-20)
Brutal! Barbaric! Unthinkable! Depraved! These words passed the lips of many as the revelatory videos of undercover investigations of Planned Parenthood surfaced. From those interviews we've learned that PP not only facilitates abortions but also markets to the highest bidders the body parts of aborted babies. As the father of four children, I can only say that this news more than turned my stomach. I wonder how many of these precious aborted babies are friends that my children and yours will never meet?
These revelations remind us why Jesus explains that his followers, although in the world, we are not of the world. As followers of Jesus, we can not, we must not, live and think like the world. We are to have the mind of Christ, not the hollow, empty and impotent thinking of the world. President Obama lectures us and recently Kenya, that we need to give up the values that we have because of faith in Christ. Christians are viewed as archaic, out of step, and threatening to the ideals of progressive thinking. So the Little Sisters of the Poor, no matter the good they provide in the care of the indigent, are ordered to provide birth control in their insurance policies for their employees, no matter that it violates their conscience and beliefs.
It is tempting to be angry about the diminution of marriage as the sacred exchange of vows between a man and a woman recently promulgated by the Supreme Court, about the wholesale slaughter of babies in the womb facilitating the harvesting of their body parts, and about forced participation in Obamacare even when its required birth control provision violates the beliefs of Christian employers and religious communities.
Let us never forget that the Good News is always good news! The Gospel of Jesus Christ is after two thousand years no less real. So our mission is still a mission of mercy. We are still about the saving power of grace. Going into the darkness wherever it is with the light of the gospel of Christ remains our calling, our mission, and our responsibility. For you see, if the Good News is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ. But God in his mercy has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. So please, for the sake of Jesus, who lived, died, and rose again on the third day, let the light of Christ shine. ( 2 Corinthians 4:3-6) For the truth that sets free is in Jesus! Amen.
Dennis Hankins is a parishioner at Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral, of the Diocese of Knoxville, TN. Prior to uniting with the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil 2006, Dennis served as a priest in the Charismatic Episcopal Church. E-mail Dennis at: firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter: @dshankins or visit him at: www.dennishankins.com