Lk 9:51-56 Entering Enemy Territory
When the days for Jesus to be taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem, and he sent messengers ahead of him. On the way they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there, but they would not welcome him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?” Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journeyed to another village.
What would be today’s Samaritan village? Would it be public buildings or public property? Would it be our public schools? Are their places in our nation where there is no freedom to exercise your belief or faith? Yes!
Of course we all know that Congress cannot establish any religion. That’s never been the problem in our history. The problem has been just the opposite; that is, Congress prohibiting the free expression of religion in the public square. And I feel that this on-going attack on our freedom will be much more devastating than the attacks on September 11th. After all, it is home grown!
I don’t want to sound negative. But…do you not get the feeling that our nation is sinking? That our leaders are failing? That our nation desperately needs a rebirth of freedom and God? Has the Lord ever failed America? Never! Then why do our TV broadcasters and Hollywood actors and political leaders wish that we would just turn our back on Him?
The Lord’s response to the Samaritan’s rejection is striking. Rather than strike them with lightning, as his Apostles recommended, the Lord will strike them with his passing in the night. The Lord does not need to send lightning to decimate them. They will decimate themselves. Today, there is no such nation (Samaria). Today, there are no such people (Samaritans). Where did they all go? They all disappeared.
Evil destroys itself. Evil cannot endure for long. Power does not sustain. Wealth corrupts. Godless men commit evil acts. Even priests who go bad are godless men. After all, they do not believe in Judgment Day!
A few weeks ago I was invited by an elementary school student - that attends public school - to accompany him for a day at school. It is “Bring a Friend Day” and the kids are allowed to bring any friend they want. Of course I am excited! I am thrilled to have this singular opportunity to walk into a public school, with my full clerical uniform, and stand tall and proud to be a friend of the family and a Catholic priest! I am sure some of the kids won’t know what or who I am. Given the fact that Halloween is fast approaching, some kids may actually think that I am “Darth Vader!” Others may correct them and confidently say, “No, he’s a vampire!” Regardless, I am so happy to have this invitation, this honor and privilege to bring a little bit of Christ to school and to share Him in a very public and private way. I hope to sneak in a little blessing before our meal (if we have one) and a few words of God, love and mercy (if I have a chance).
“God is with us” regardless of whether or not we know it or not; accept it or not; love it or not. But if we choose to know Him, accept Him and Love Him then I am confident He will bless us. Otherwise, he will give us exactly what we ask for. He will leave us alone.