About a month ago I had a Thursday morning school Mass. It was a couple of days after a group of pastors here in Sioux Falls had abandoned their role to teach the truth to come out in opposition to the Abortion ban. That morning for Mass I was wearing a green vestment as I am today.
I started my homily that morning by trying to convince the children that the vestment I was wearing was actually white. I told them that I have always believed that this color was white…most of them told me no…it wasn’t white…it was green. I persisted…no, I said, this is white…I told them there were lots of people who believed that this color is white so surely it must be white. Yes, they did not believe me…they knew it wasn’t…they knew it was green. Finally, after asking the kindergarteners, the sixth graders and even the teachers, I gave in. I told them that it was green, but just like I tried to convince them that what was actually green is a white, there are people who will try to tell them that killing is ok; that it is not wrong. It told them that in their lives they will run into a lot of people who will try to tell them that something they know is wrong is actually right, like killing, or steeling, or telling lies, and sometimes those people might be important people like presidents, teacher, or even pastors. But that doesn’t matter. What matters is that we stick up for what we know is right.
I reminded them that anyone who tells them that something contrary to what God tells them is wrong. God is always right, he can’t be wrong, he knows everything. He is God. Green is green, it will always be green, it will never be white no matter how many people say it isn’t. Killing is wrong. It will always be wrong. It will never be right. So when people try to tell you it is: Don’t listen, no matter who it is.
That’s what I told them four weeks ago. Then came the election.
On Wednesday, the day after the election, I had the School Mass yet again. I have to admit, I was a bit sad, a bit upset, and even a little angry about the election results. I hadn’t slept much the night before; I couldn’t stop thinking about how Satan must be having quite a celebration. The idea of having to be upbeat for the children really didn’t appeal to me…but nevertheless I did my best.
When the time came for the homily I stood right here, and I looked out into the sea of children and saw the innocence purity and innocence in their eyes my heart melted, and I knew this is exactly where I needed to be on such a dark day.
I asked them to think back to a few weeks before when I tried to convince them that the green vestment I was wearing was white. I asked them if they remembered how I told them that green is green no matter who tells them otherwise. They said yes. I asked them if they remembered what I said about killing, how it has always been wrong, and how it will always be wrong no matter how many people tell them that it’s is right. Again, they nodded affirmatively. Then the emotion welled up inside of me, and my eyes began to tear up, and with a cracking voice and I said “Yesterday we had an election, and a lot of people said it’s ok to kill…but we know it’s not. We know that killing is always wrong…it will never be right…and those who think it right is are wrong…and they will always be wrong even if a lot of people say they are right. Boys and girls” I went on “sometimes it feels like the devil is winning, but he’s not. The devil will never win…he will always lose. Right will always beat wrong. Good will always beat evil. Life will always beat death. In the last book of the bible it tells us that in the end…after a great war between God and the devil, between good and evil, between life and death…God wins.”
You know, Holy Spirit Family, if I am honest with myself didn’t preach that homily on Wednesday to the children as much as I did to myself. I, like you, need a reminder that even though right now it feels like the Satan won…he didn’t. It’s just like Good Friday. It looked hopeless, it looked like God lost, it seemed as if Satan had triumphed, it looked like the darkness of evil had descended upon us forever. But three days later Satan’s head was crushed under the foot of the risen Christ. Life conquered death! Goodness, Truth and beauty had won out.
My people…Don’t lose hope! Life WILL triumph over death! We’ve read the last Chapter…and we win! We win.
Monday, March 22, 2010
When I watched as Health Care Reform Passed and as "Pro-Life" Democrats sold out I was reminded of a homily I preached after an Abortion Ban failed to pass in my home state of South Dakota. I thought I might re-post that homily today.