Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Homily for July 4

Amos 5:14-15, 21-24

July 4th.  Fireworks. Cookouts.  Parades. Ice-cold beer. And, of course, fireworks and the Pops on the Esplanade.

For over two hundred years the country has celebrated the audacious move to separate from British colonial domination.  The choice was made after much deliberation and debate.  Not all were in agreement.  For some it seemed better to remain subject to the British crown.  However, seeing the depths to which the British Royal Family has sunk, it is obvious that the Founding Fathers were either prudent or prescient. 

Where are we now? 
Where are we going?  
The answer to the latter question is a source of major anxiety.

The first reading from Amos, is fortuitous for today's holiday: "Seek good and not evil,that you may live"

If we pray for anything today, we must pray for a return to civility in American society.  We must pray for a society being ravaged by the extraordinarily foul language spewing from the mouths of harridan-like comediennes, whose lack of respect for others is damning evidence of their lack of self-respect.  

We pray for a society in which reasoned discourse and debate has been replaced by the disinhibited emotional--and frequently foul-mouthed--screeds of late-night talk show hosts and celebrities whose overall value to society is questionable.  

We pray for a society in which legislators have descended to a lowest-common-denominator--a very very low common denominator--in their public pronouncements and behaviors.  

"I spurn your feasts, says the LORD,
I take no pleasure in your solemnities;
Your cereal offerings I will not accept,
nor consider your stall-fed peace offerings.
Away with your noisy songs!"

I am not being partisan.  All critiques of incivility, hostility, outright obscenity, and the kind of temper-tantrums generally outgrown by age three, apply equally to democrats, republicans, and the splinter and special interest groups populating the spectrum around and between. The churches are not exempt. 

The concept of the common good has been sacrificed to personal desire and special interest demands.  The only difference between the demonized 1%, many of whom are our legislators, and those populating the lower ranks of society, is that those lower down on the income ladder are working within smaller budgets.

The Fourth of July has historically been a time to celebrate. However, watching the morphing of perverse sexuality into a good that must never be questioned or condemned, being forced to applaud and admire surgical and hormonal violations of natural law and physical integrity, and witnessing the domination of the culture of death, there is much to fear, there is much to mourn.

I took this photo about four or five years ago down at Boston Harbor after disembarking from a cruise with friends.  The outsized 'T' token (the still current name for the subway) exists no longer.  It has been replaced by the Charlie Card.  Obvious reference, that.  Don't know if it is still there as I"ve not been down to the waterfront in a long time.  Should get down some day but today, 4 July, is not a time to travel through Boston even if the temp were not quite so high.  

+Fr. Jack, SJ, MD

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