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God and Government (Homily for the 30th Sunday)

Fr. Joel Church meets World, Homilies

God and Government (14:45)

Ordinary Time, 30th Sunday. Human beings naturally create government to promote harmony and happiness. We have seen from history that a government must respect the laws of Nature (what the Church calls “natural law”). Human beings have a human nature too, one that we didn’t create and are not capable of changing. Things go well when a government’s laws reflect, respect, and protect our natural law. When a government tries to work against our human nature, things go badly.

For example, let’s say a politician wanted to legalize burglary (which is naturally wrong). This would lead to mass chaos. Could you vote for such a politician? Only after careful thought and consideration — because if such a politician succeeds in doing something evil, those who voted for him bear some of the guilt. What if someone wanted to legalize the murder of certain people? We read about this in the book of Esther; we’ve seen it happen in recent history. You may think my examples are far-fetched, but certain kinds of murder are in fact legal in the United States. Abortion is a legal form of murder. Euthanasia is also murder. We call these things “intrinsically evil” because they are always wrong. Other examples of intrinsic evil:  Embryonic stem cell research and cloning both treat human beings as products rather than people. Can you vote for politicians or political parties that advocate evil things? Only after careful thought and consideration, because you will bear some of their guilt.

In today’s Gospel, a man called Bartimaeus asks Jesus to let him see. Good and evil isn’t always clear to us. Sometimes, blinded by social norms, sin and selfishness, we cannot see what is truly good and evil. Let us ask Jesus to open our eyes and the eyes of our country to know what is truly good and to choose it.

(28 Oct 2012)

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