“Lost and Found” by Greg Olsen. Used with Permission. www.GregOlsen.com
Gospel – 1/7/21 – 1 John 4:19 – 5:4
Beloved, we love God because he first loved us.
If anyone says, “I love God,” but hates his brother, he is a liar; for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.
This is the commandment we have from him:Whoever loves God must also love his brother.
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is begotten by God,
and everyone who loves the Father loves also the one begotten by him.
In this way we know that we love the children of God when we love God and obey his commandments. For the love of God is this ,that we keep his commandments.
And his commandments are not burdensome, for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world. And the victory that conquers the world is our faith.
We cannot love God if we don’t love our brothers and sisters. We can’t choose to love God if we choose to hate our brothers and sisters.
If you’ve heard my homilies you know I lean heavily on the Gospel message.
But not today. Not after yesterday. Not after seeing what has long been a light to the world – America – have our capital attacked by evil.
4 lives lost. Families deprived of loved ones. Youth that won’t now see old age.
I’m not here to lay blame. There is plenty of blame to go around.
I’m here to try to bring some spiritual clarity.
It wasn’t the people – although they carried it out.
It wasn’t to political parties – although their acrimony was a model for the violence.
It wasn’t the president – although many will try to blame him.
This was a long time in coming. I lived through the sixties and seventies. What happened yesterday was a culmination. It wasn’t spontaneous. What happened during the summer was much worse, but I don’t even blame that.
If I were to lay blame at any door it would most likely be at the feet of the religious leaders. Those who are so afraid to teach hard lessons that we tacitly approve of anything.
I am most disappointed in my own faith – the Catholic Church. For too long now we have been so afraid to preach what we believe that no one believes we believe what we profess. We are so afraid of empty pews we allow those who practice in life the stark contrast of what we say we believe.
We welcome abortionist to the table of the Lord without asking them to disavow their killing of the Holy Innocents.
We have lost our Moral High Ground to the lowliest of spiritual degradation when we condone their total disregard of our beliefs.
If you don’t believe what the Catholic Church teaches – CHOOSE ANOTHER FAITH.
As Pope Benedict says, we will be a smaller but purer Church.
I would rather be Paul teaching hard lessons than to allow the Church that I love to be destroyed by fear of losing members.
If you have made mistakes, abortion, murder etc – come home. Let us show you the love of God. Don’t be afraid to ask forgiveness because none of us are without sin.
Just don’t become apathetic and live in that depressive world where you are afraid to meet God. Let us walk with you.
This community now is looked to be the leaders. We are the voices; we are the arms, and we are the legs – but mostly we are the heart of God.
Take it as a challenge or whatever, but when we leave here today, don’t be afraid. Be strong in your faith. Be Catholic servant leaders of the Lord our God.
At least that’s what I heard Him say…