Saturday, February 02, 2013

Speaking the truth in love (Sunday homily)

It isn’t just the second reading that’s about love. 
They are all about love.

That’s why God sent Jeremiah:
God’s People were on the wrong road; they had to be warned.

In baptism we received the same call as Jeremiah.
We share our Church’s mission to speak the truth in love.

And if they drove the Lord himself out in fury,
Do not be surprised if it happens to the Church--which it is.

Our message about human life and openness to life, and what marriage is,  
is being received with anger. 
Even from within the Church.
But then, it was the Lord’s own neighbors and friends 
who tried to throw him off a cliff.

Don’t be discouraged! The truth will be vindicated in time.

Fifty years ago, the experts were all saying 
that we had a crisis of too many people. 
We needed to have massive efforts to promote 
contraception and abortion and sterilization.

And, of course, they are still saying that. 
Now they want to force all of us to accept it 
as part of our health care plans.

But a funny thing has happened in the years since.
All their predictions proved false. All of them.

The folks who promoted contraception said it would improve marriages; 
yet divorce skyrocketed. That it would lead to fewer abortions; 
But we have millions more. 
That it would increase women’s dignity. 
Yet violence against women is worse, 
Increasingly poverty is a problem for single women with children;  
and it is hard to think of how our culture could degrade women -- 
and men -- more than it does.

Something else has happened:
More and more experts now admit we face, quote, a “demographic disaster.”
That was the headline, last week, not in a Catholic magazine, 
but a secular foreign-news publication, describing Japan.

Remember when they said Japan would overtake us?
Now it’s becoming undeniable that Japan is in permanent decline--
because they have too few children. And it maybe too late.

The same warning is being sounded--often in the financial pages--
about Russia, Europe, Mexico, even China!--and now, us.

Our message about marriage--that it is for life, and it is for family, 
and therefore it is a man and a woman--is also drawing fury.

We could wait and let people find out the hard way--
but that’s not what love does.
God calls us to give the warning.

Pope Benedict calls this the Year of Faith--
in which we are called to grow in our own faith, 
and to call others to faith.

So: do we know our Faith? Can we explain it to others?
This Tuesday, here at Saint Rose, 
I'll have the first of a monthly series of talks on the Creed. 
We'll look at who God is and what Faith is. 
Seven to 8:15 pm, downstairs; men, women and children all welcome.
See the bulletin for details.
Thanks to the Knights of Columbus for sponsoring this!

And first and last, we do it out of love.
We aren’t just saying, “these are the rules, follow them”;
We’re telling them the truth--not because it feels good, 
but what truly is good.
That’s why we say, “marriage is family and life; 
and to choose love is to choose life; to choose life, is to love.”

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