“When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a scholar of the law, tested him by asking, ‘Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?’ He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.’”
In Madrid, the protestors against the Holy Father did quite a few obscene things. You can see for yourself. There are plenty of pictures to view. I am so proud of our Catholic youth. Years of training, probably in front of abortion clinics, have taught them to be gentle in the face of insult and mockery.
At one moment, the protestors of World Youth Day began to shout, “God yes, Church no!” I cannot tell you how old this slogan is. Don’t let the “God yes!” fool you. It has been used by atheists for at least sixty years now. The rational or (deceitfulness) behind it is simple: dismantle that which is visible so as to leave the pious with just an idea, a pie-in-the-sky, which eventually becomes a pie-in-your-face!
The Church is very visible and very solid, her creed and code of conduct is rooted in Christ. She is founded on Rock rather than quicksand. Hundreds of thousands of youth professing their faith in public squares is a very visible and welcoming sign that points to Jesus Christ, to God! The Church is not an idea. It is very human, like humanity, and very divine. When the faithful come together as a community of worshippers, they gather as members of one body, but with only one head, Jesus Christ.
“God yes” is not at all the same as saying “Jesus yes.” “God yes” means absolutely nothing, especially when someone is giving you the finger! “God yes” in this case really means “My god yes.” That is, an individualistic god crafted precisely in my image and likeness. With this god there is nothing to learn! There is no script(ure) to read, for he has done nothing that I wouldn’t or couldn’t do! This thing thinks and acts exactly as I would expect it to do because it exists solely in my imagination and thrives upon my middle finger. This creature has no words of wisdom. There is nothing for it to teach me because “I already know it all!” This god is boring. There are no surprises in store for me. He lives and breathes and has his being as long as I live and breathe and have life within me. This god is similar to the shadows that accompanied men like Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and so many others throughout time. There are no miracles of love for me to witness but only tears from darkness, death and destruction.
What did the God of Jesus Christ proclaim? He said, “Love God above all things so that you can authentically love your neighbor as well.” That’s the sign. That’s the surprise. Jesus said, People will know me if you follow my commandments. May the real God please come forward!
Throughout history there have been many attempts by evil men to cover up and bury this real God! Throughout history there have been many attempts to reveal him by simple and holy men and women. The challenge now rests with us. “WE WANT GOD!” was the slogan that members of the solidarity movement in Poland shouted when the Holy Father, John Paul II, first visited his native land. Not long after, they got God because God sent him. He sends us too!