Homily — 27th Sunday OT C 10/07/07


 Homily — 27th Sunday OT C      10/07/07

 In the first reading today, we hear the Prophet Habakkuk send up an anguished  prayer to Heaven: How long, O LORD? I cry for help but you do not listen!  I cry out to you “Violence” but you do not intervene.

 The LORD answers this prayer by telling Habakkuk to write down the vision (I give you) clearly . . . . so that one can read it readily . . . .for the vision presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint.

 We observe this Sunday in the Church Respect Life Sunday.  We look around at all the offenses against innocent human life in our world today — at the genocide going on in Africa, the war and terrorism in the Middle East, the sex slave trade in Asia, entering even into our own state, and the continued taking of innocent unborn and newly conceived life in our own country.  Looking at all these offenses, our prayer could well be that Habakkuk:  How long O LORD?  I cry for help but you do not listen!  I cry out to you “Violence” but you do not intervene.

 But the LORD tells us who follow His Son to also write down the vision upon our hearts, and to read that vision God has written in our hearts readily each and every day, and strive to live according to that vision.

 My brothers and sisters, the vision that presses on to fulfillment, the vision that will surely come is the Vision of a Culture of Life.

 This vision, written there in our hearts, is a vision of people respecting other people and themselves as created in the image of God.

 It is a vision of people of one race respecting people of other races.

 A vision of men respecting and not exploiting women, and of women respecting and not using men.

 The vision that presses on to fulfillment is one of individuals and especially governments respecting and protecting the unborn, the newly conceived, and the elderly.

 It is a vision of society once again valuing and extolling lifelong marriage, the family, chastity and virginity. 

 It is even a vision of a world where swords are beaten into plowshares — where arguments and differences and conflicts are solved without guns and bombs.

 This is God’s vision, which must be written in the heart of everyone who claims to follow Christ.  A vision that, as the prophet says will surely come to be a reality for those who wait for it with faith and strive to live by this vision.

 It certainly is easy, in this world in which we live, to grow discouraged and despair of this vision ever becoming a reality.  This is because we lack faith:  when the apostles said to the Lord in today’s Gospel “Increase our faith”, Jesus told them “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could move mountains and giant trees.  The problem is, you guys don’t even have faith the size of a mustard seed!  Realize how much in need you are of faith in my Gospel.”

 On this Respect Life Sunday, may Jesus truly increase our faith, that we may bear our share of hardship for the Gospel in embracing and building a culture of Life with the strength that comes from God.

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