Happy Fourth 1

Independence Day

How many people this weekend as they grill their hot dogs, drink their beer, light off their sparklers and fireworks – will stop for even a few moments and bow their head in gratitude? How many will try to think of creative ways to share their abundance with those who do not have even the basic necessities of life?

For that is what this day should mean to us as Catholic Americans. We express our gratitude for the abundant blessings given to this country. And, because of gratitude, we must seek to extend God’s blessings to others.  Think about it, what made this a great nation?

  1. Natural resources ……coupled with…
  2. The contributions of many and diverse peoples who came to these shores.

Our greatness, though, must be shown in our care for the most vulnerable of peoples.  We must seek to include everyone in the blessings of prosperity. Speeches will be made this Holiday – Our nations fore-fathers will be quoted – songs will be sung – all reminding us of how our nation proclaims its dedication to liberty, to justice, to equal rights and opportunities.

To those to whom much is given, much is expected. If we are blessed, and we most certainly are, we cannot turn within ourselves and ignore the needs of others.  Neither can we seek to impose our will on others by our military might, as if justice comes about by force.  Might does not make right. Arrogance, vengeance, occupation are not the ways of the Carpenter from Nazareth. Freedom and liberty must walk hand in hand with responsibility:  Responsibility first of all to natural law and to the will of God.

If we desire to spread our ideals to the world, we do this more by sharing our blessings than by imposing our views by force.  We must remember always the words of the Lord: “Whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” And as we are seeing already the other half of that proclamation is equally true: “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled.

* May the Lord deliver us from overbearing pride and presumption.

* May the Lord help us to be servants of truth and righteousness.

Let us pray for a time in the near future when even a fraction of our military budget can be spent in feeding the hungry of the world and providing medicine and health for the world.  Injustice is not destroyed by containment or pre-emption. Ideologies cannot be forced on a people any more than doctrinal beliefs can. People followed Jesus’ Way not because of what he said – or what was said about him – but because of what He did. That is how injustice is to be destroyed. And if any leaders dare to call themselves his followers let them truly do as he commanded… that is, the Will of the Lord. Loving enemies, doing good to those who may hate, giving aid to those who might otherwise deprive us of our needs.  If this were followed, perhaps all the children of Abraham — those from Isaac, those from Ishmael, all those of faith — could truly be united.

God Bless us,
God Bless America,
God Bless the world.

Father Ron


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