Nov 7, 2022 • 13M

Homily: Being Catholic During Election Week

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One of the powerful things about our Catholic faith is the teachings in the Gospel are relevant because they are timeless. Much of what we see in the Gospel we can see in our lives every day, especially during this election time.

Let’s begin with the scenario. Jesus is actually being mocked. (Act it out)

Notice their hard-heartedness and they are mocking him.

There is an old saying in Catholic circles, I think it comes from Fulton Sheen. It is that in many Catholic homes, a man can sneak out of work early, go to a bar, get drunk, get into a fight, drive home drunk and as long as he did have relations with anyone but his wife, he did not sin.

We see forms of this teaching promoted daily. People just over and over again hammering home a specific type of sin while promoting behavior that is just as sinful or worse.

We can see it in the attitude of those who confront Jesus.

If you want to know what is the model of what I consider right behavior, it is simple: what is obedient to Christ and or what is pleasing to Christ. Most of what we do really is irrelevant to what brand of bread we eat, and what type of butter we buy. However, other things we do are important in our relationship with Christ.

Let us take one:

Prayer: If we are not praying daily, we cannot live the Catholic life. We can live a moral life but Daniel Dennett who is one of the world class atheists preaches one does not have to believe in God to know right from wrong. That is why the difference is not a moral life but what is obedient to Christ. Prayer is an essential part of Catholic life. If we do not pray, we cannot live a Catholic life. This will help us with the rest of our actions. When a priest left the priesthood and he would go to see Archbishop Fulton Sheen of then Rochester to say his goodbyes, Sheen would always say: “When did you stop praying.”

We all know the morality. However, living a Catholic life is more than just morality.

It is whether we are acting in obedience to Christ and when we do not, we sin.

If I am loyal to the party over the common good, I am committing idolatry. We must stand up for the common good, everyone who calls themselves Catholics, the same applies to other Christians but I am speaking to you not them. If I choose any group over my commitment to Christ I practice idolatry whether that is a political party, a company, a movement or even a gang. I once argued with a gang member that he was committing the sin of idolatry. A week later he was on the front page of the Herald for shooting a member of a rival gang. That is where idolatry leads you and that is why it is the worst of all sins.

I probably have no agreement whatsoever with most of the politics of the Pelosi family. However, Paul Pelosi was hit over the head with a hammer by an intruder. This past week pundits made all kinds of assumptions about what was really going on and over the real story. The real story is Paul Pelosi was hit over the head with a hammer and suffered a terrible head wound. That is the fact unless people have unequivocal evidence of anything to say anything besides the facts they commit the sin of calumny. It is a serious sin connected to the commandments. If you are going to act in charity, then you have no business saying anything about anyone unless it is true and necessary.

I have watched over the years Catholics make terrible statements about bishops, priests, and politicians, all in the name of Catholic orthodoxy. They are in great sin. Yet, people listen to them and then go to church on Sunday.

One of the greatest tools of manipulation is using sarcasm and other forms of humor to destroy a person’s reputation. It is also a grave sin.

I can preach all day about the more common forms of morality such as sexual morality but are you going to tell me that would be news to you?

It is the other sins that are just as or even more destructive. The mother of all virtues is humility because the mother of all sins is pride. The men taunting Jesus are demonstrating the latter, Jesus calls us to live the former, and to live the former means to be people of prayer, to stay close to the sacraments, and to live the Gospel.

Too many people believe they are good people while they are nothing more than what many call sheeple. People who will repeat a talking point because everyone else says they should.

We need to be people who choose to obey Christ and live for the promises he gives to us. That means we are witnesses to the Gospel so that others will know there are greater truths than the crowd understands.

Neither of our political parties are obedient to Christ that is the nature of political parties and both of them in their history have had anti-Catholic planks. The National Conference of Christian and Jews was formed after the 1928 election after Al Smith lost because he was Catholic.  

Many members of both parties today despise us because we are Catholic.

So we have no business parroting political talking points.

Do you want to stop abortion? Live your Catholic Faith. Do you want to build a just society? Live your Catholic faith. Do you want to have freedom of religion? Live your faith.

Have nothing to do with political talking points, seek only to be obedient to Christ.

Jesus reminds us to seek first the kingdom of God and all else will follow. Many Catholics have lost their way because they seek first the kingdom of a political party and see all else will fall apart.

Be people of prayer and live the Gospel and don’t get caught up in the calumny and evil of those who claim to be Catholic just because they are against abortion while they destroy everyone else in the name of orthodoxy. The teaching of what life will be in Heaven will never apply to them.

From St. Anthony Parish in Allston, MA

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