Truth in Hope

Today, the Dominican Order celebrates the feast of all Dominican saints.  Men and women and children.  Friars.  Nuns.  Sisters.  Laity.  All the sons and daughters of Our Holy Father Dominic who sought and embraced Truth, then spent themselves living and preaching for the salvation of souls.  They answered the call of Jesus, “Come and follow me.”  Their hearts, minds and souls, captivated and filled with grace and love, echoed their father’s cry, “Lord, what will become of poor sinners?”

Today it is good to reflect on their lives and the example they leave us.  Some lived in times of plenty and relative peace.  Others lived amidst great poverty and persecution.  But all remained centered on Jesus, their great Love.  They submitted their will to His perfect will and followed with humble obedience the teaching and guidance of the Church Christ established.

On this day, many in this country are elated at last night’s election results.  Many are disappointed, angry, and perhaps fearful of what is to come.  With the first, people can easily be snared by triumphalism – an attitude or feeling of superiority, which finds its root in pride, the root of all sin.  With the second, the temptation is to fall into despair, the sin against hope.  Then, there is a third temptation: apathy – neglecting those things which God has spoken and being inactive.  Neither hot nor cold, their actions demonstrate their priorities and indifference to the things of God.  In all cases, we make the tragic mistake of putting our hope in things of this world and not in Jesus. 

Prayerfully consider these questions: Have my past actions and decisions served to promote life, protect the most vulnerable of people – the unborn, elderly and infirm – and preserve Truth?  Have I taken action to promote people, laws, and policies that have or will result in the denial of human dignity and the sanctity of all human life?  Have I been complacent in not taking a stand against such injustice or in growing in virtue and doing those things I know God is prompting me to do?  Have I decided for myself what is “right”, rather than seeking to be informed by the precepts of the Church and guidance of the bishops?  If so, there is still hope, but we must first confess our failings and turn back to Him who can heal and help us.

Today, we are faced anew with the only real choice in life: Whom will I love?  Whom will I serve? 

Jesus calls us to follow Him, to be perfect.  He promises to ease our burdens and give us rest.  But we must take up His yoke; though easy and light, it is a cross nonetheless.  Will we humbly seek to follow Jesus when He said, whoever listens to His Church listens to Him, and whoever turns away from His Church, denies Him?  Will we follow Paul’s instruction to “not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind”?  Jesus Himself stated, “Not everyone who calls me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will come into my kingdom.”  Whether we take pride or despair at the election and the direction of our country, or simply can’t be bothered, all three find themselves shutting out Jesus, who is the Way, the Truth, the Life.  There is no other way to our Heavenly Father.

Let us take up the example of our Dominican brothers and sisters.  Let us surrender to God and allow the Holy Spirit to enflame our hearts with love for Him and our neighbors.  Let us take up our crosses and persevere, fearlessly preaching the Gospel to give real hope to our families and those we meet, and let us pray, “Lord have mercy!  What will become of poor sinners?”

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