Friday, September 28, 2012


   Vatican II says that we participate in Christ's kingly office.  That means that we have the spiritual empowerment and responsibility to correct our society and culture in the saving grace of Christ.  It means that we are in this world in order to work to save it in the grace of   Christ.  It means that we are the 21st century eyes, mind, heart and hands of Christ.

   Just as the universe and world were created incomplete, we were born incomplete.  Jesus died, rose again and returned to heaven so he could send us his Spirit of completeness, in whom we could now achieve completeness and wholeness of life, beginning here in space/time, and fully in eternity.  

   A deeply human prayer has been answered, "Lord, open our eyes, minds and hearts that we may see."  Alive in Christ's Spirit, we can see ourselves and all people and things in terms of both our present incompleteness and destined completeness.  We can see what we and the world were created and destined to be and become, especially in maturity, peace, hope, joy and love.

   We can clearly and effectively "see the signs of the times."  We can see the needs and possibilities of today's people in today's world.  We can see the obstacles that we put in our own way--educationally, socially, politically and economically.  And we can see what is necessary to overcome those obstacles and we can work to overcome them.  Let's go back a moment.  Imagine in the 1930's, if Christians and all people of good will clearly and effectively saw what Hitler was about to inflict upon the world.  And imagine that they exercised their royal responsibility and corrected the Nazi movement before it gained its lethal power.  And imagine that they could have done it non-violently.

   Question:  Do we really believe that the Nazi horror could have been prevented by spiritually discerning, royally acting people?  If we don't believe it, we must sadly accept that we have fallen into the spiritual anemia that many Christians are suffering from today.  So first, we must stir up the grace to imagine what we can truly do.

   In the America of the 1960's, one Christian woman, Rosa Parks, inspired a spiritual revolution with her own, individual royal act of refusing to sit in the back of a bus.  The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. led the American people to a new vision of equality and respect for all our brothers and sisters.  In the Poland of the 1980's, Lech Walesa helped lead his country to freedom from Communism.  We personally will no doubt act in more modest ways, but that's no problem.  The problem arises only when we don't act in whatever way we can.

   There's a story of a man who carried a sign back and forth in front of the White House every day, all alone, in all kinds of weather.  One day, a policeman asked him, "Why are you doing this?  You're not going to change anybody?"  The man replied, "I'm doing this so that I don't change."  Everyone's road to salvation begins with a single step, possibly alone, preferably with some others.  Where that road ends is up to God.  Our royal responsibility is to take that first step.


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