We have to do our best to follow the Commandments. Love God and seek Him above all. Honor Him. Mass every Sunday. Respect for those who have the authority to guide us. Be kind, gentle, pure, and honest with others. A peaceful life with a clear conscience. [Spanish]
We can do it. We can live prayerful Christian lives. Because God loves us with tender mercy and showers us with grace through the sacraments.
No one follows God’s commandments without God’s help. Knowing that is where a real relationship with Christ begins.
Now, politics has become a kind of religion for a lot of Americans. With a big Us-vs.-Them aspect to it. In the Us.-vs.-Them scheme, We are righteous. And They are not.
I don’t want to get bogged down in a whole lot of political details here. But here in the USA these days, the Us.-vs.-Them political scheme tends to revolve around one person. He’s either The Devil or The Savior, depending on which Us you fall into. Talking about a certain orange-haired gentleman.
The thinking goes like this: We’re right, because They cling to the orange-haired Devil. Or it goes like this: We’re right, because They hate and want to destroy the orange-haired Savior.
No. Christians brothers and sisters. No. There’s only one real We. Only one real Us. Us sinners. We sinners who have no hope, but Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ looked at us with love. He saw that we had misunderstandings among ourselves, petty resentments, and self-righteous blind spots the size of Texas. He saw that we desperately wanted to attain righteousness, and truth, and inner peace. But we actually have no earthly idea how to do that. He saw us constantly shooting ourselves in the foot in our very efforts to attain godliness. He saw that we have emotions that run away with us to places like Las Vegas. Where we tend to make a colossal mess of even our best intentions. He saw that we human beings have a habit of hurting the people we claim to love the most.
He saw this one, united screwed-up human race. Perfectly united in this one thing—being sinners. Perfectly united in having wrecked our friendship with the one, true God Who made us. He saw us here on earth, perfectly united in making one pilgrimage together. A pilgrimage straight to the grave.
He saw all this—saw it all with perfect clarity. And He loved us. We were in the middle of taking His precious gifts for granted and squandering them. He loved us while we were in the middle of lying about each other and stabbing each other in the back. He loved us while we were in the process of making a mockery out of the very idea of justice. He loved us as we nailed Him to the cross.
Then: everything changed. Because He, Jesus Christ, the one and only Messiah and Savior—He brought righteousness to the human race. He brought the heavenly gift: Now we can live better. Now we can have a clear conscience. Now we can quietly aim for heaven. And make our way there, one step at a time.
We can keep God’s Commandments because God has given us the gift of faith and the sacraments. Because we believe in Jesus, we know God loves us with a merciful fatherly love, patient and ready to forgive everything.
Because we have the sacraments, we receive supernatural wisdom from heaven. We receive superhuman strength to do good. The Heart of Christ beats in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar. By the power of His Heart, we can love.
We can love our neighbors. We can love our enemies. We can love our persecutors. We can forget everything that isn’t God, and let it go, and live like St. Francis of Assisi—totally free, because we have nothing and want nothing except God Himself.
Now, I’m not trying to be Pollyannish here. We are living through extremely uncertain, fearful times. The institutions that should preserve peace and decorum among men—those institutions are visibly failing.
Again, I don’t want to get bogged down in details. But it seems to me that both the orange-haired gentleman, and the man in the white robe–even though they are sworn enemies of each other—seems to me like they will both go down in history with the same distinction: Being a householder who spent long days talking to himself in the mirror, while the termites ate the main support beams of the house.
So we face tough times. The younger we are, the more rough time we have ahead of us. But Christ came, and He did His work, and He gave us His Gospel—precisely for times such as these. The grace of Christ shows forth its sublime beauty most intensely in uncertain, dangerous times. Jesus Christ can make people righteous. Jesus Christ can unite the human race. Jesus gives hope. And He gives the gift of a quiet, godly life.