Preparing to Meet Our God
“So, in a curious lurid calm which could not last and yet, it seemed, could not end, the days went by.” ~ Iris Murdoch
As the month of June comes to a close on this the Memorial of the First Martyrs of the Holy Roman Church, the faithful are given a lot to think about in today’s 1st Reading, courtesy of the shepherd-turned-prophet Amos (3:1-8, 4:11-12).
Amos was sent by God to urge those from the north of Judah to repent and turn back to the God who favored them so greatly, “more than all the families of the earth.” Israel, by virtue of their economic and military success, had begun to stray from the God who guaranteed and bestowed these great gifts upon them. The rich began to oppress the poor, corruption ran rampant, even the scourge of idolatry suddenly became prevalent. “Prepare to meet your God,” Amos warns them (4:12).
Much like the unruly child being told by their exasperated mother or father “Don’t make me come up there,” God is in essence warning the Israelites “Don’t make me come down there.” He did this of course out of love, for He knew the hard times that awaited the Israelites as a result of their arrogance, disobedience and foolishness. Perhaps this is all-too-often the fate of those Nations who have been abundantly blessed, including the one that we are so fortunate to live in.
The recent Supreme Court Rulings pertaining to abortion and transgenderism prove that we are moving further and further from God’s truth, opting instead to allow nine unelected individuals clad in black robes to dictate to us their version of truth. The ruling issued this week in Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC is merely one very recent example.
Anthony Stephens, a longtime employee of the Harris Funeral Homes in Michigan, one day informed his employers that he wished to “live and work fully as a woman.” Justice Gorsuch, a man recently appointed to the Supreme Court, with much fanfare I might add, due in large part to his self-professed love of the Constitution and “the truth,” would go on to refer to Mr. Stephens as “Aimee” throughout the case. He did so in his written opinion as well, making sure to use feminine pronouns at every turn.
In his recent Essay ‘Gorsuch Does Transgenderism: Notes on the Wreckage,’ author Hadley Arkes points out that “Justice Gorsuch remarked that ‘Aimee’ had ‘presented as a male’ when ‘she first got the job.’ From the outset, Gorsuch absorbed the predicate of Stephens’ claim: that in his own understanding, he had in fact become a woman. To confirm Stephens’ argument was to confirm the obligation of all people around him to respect that claim and treat him as though he were indeed a woman. If they didn’t affirm that lie, they and their employers could be charged with sustaining a ‘hostile work environment.’” As if it isn’t tragic enough they we as a society no longer seek to get these individuals the extensive psychiatric care they need, we must now placate them in their delusion. To do otherwise is suddenly against the law.
Is this an act of love? To wholeheartedly indulge this intrinsically disordered affection? What about our children, who are forced to grow up in this environment? Is this fair to them? I’ll leave it up to you to decide.
With regard to legalized abortion, another Supreme Court decision rendered by way of Roe v Wade 47 years ago, much if not all of the violence and hatred in our world today, including but certainly not limited to racism and sexism, can be traced back to this flimsy decision. As Saint Teresa of Calcutta so aptly put it, “A society that murders its unborn in the womb has lost its soul.”
Given the state of the world today, can we honestly say that we are prepared to meet Jesus if He were to suddenly return in His glory? Collectively speaking, what would we have to say for ourselves? What could we say?
Much like the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32), God waits patiently for us to return to him, forgiving unconditionally when we do. But despite this promise of an unending ocean of mercy and forgiveness from a God who knows no other way, we must not lose sight of one very poignant fact:
Time can run out on us.
“No man knows the day nor the hour” scripture tells us. (Matthew 24:36). Jesus Himself does not know when God the Father will send Him. But our time on this earth is fleeting and it will one day come to an end, this we know for sure. “Youth is a disease but it’s curable, and passes swiftly,” the old saying goes, and as author Heather Babcock once pointed out, “time doesn’t really ‘march on’. It tends to tip-toe. There’s no parade. No stomping of boots to alert you to its passing. One day, you turn around and it is gone.“ The evil one is cunningly adept at lulling us to sleep.
We must prepare for our ultimate meeting with God by meeting him every day by way of the Sacraments, the Rosary, Prayer (for our loved ones and our enemies, particularly those who are hostile to the truth), immersing ourselves in Scripture and living a humble life rooted in God’s unchanging and everlasting truth, despite how unpopular any of these tactics are or may one day soon become. Begin today. For as Saint Arnold Jannsen once said, “Never will we understand the value of time better than when our last hour is at hand.”
“The judgements of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.” ~ Psalm 19