To the unbelievers, Jesus is a loser. After all, he died naked; nailed to a cross, like a common criminal--with a crown of thorns on his head. Even we, who believe, act like his Way is so difficult, so demanding; that we try to avoid it at all costs—we sometimes water down his Gospel message to the point, that it can barely be recognized, as his Way of the Cross.
Those of us born into a family of Christian-Catholics, learned our faith from seeing what our parents and grandparents practiced, and what they told us. Many of us are still in pre-kinder, when it comes to know why we believe as we do…it’s just something: we’ve always done. The most natural thing for us, is to practice devotions: the rosary, novenas—prayers to saints assigned a specific favor to grant us. We’re like babies in our faith, still being fed on milk…still not on solid food. St. Paul says, “Solid food is for those that are mature, who have trained themselves to recognize the difference between right and wrong, and then do what is right.’’ (Heb: 5:14) When we are inspired by the Holy Spirit to really meditate on the words that Jesus spoke, we won’t need anyone to tell us about him; we’ll have met him for ourselves—we’ll like what we see, and will want to be like him. For that to happen, we need to stop pretending: stop simply talking about it, and walk the talk. When we’re all really Christian, we won’t recognize ourselves; much less the world around us. Every-one will know who we are, because of who we follow: The Supreme Winner—King of the Universe.
Our King’s throne is a cross; our King’s crown is made of thorns. We are so proud of him, that our symbol is not a flag, but a Crucifix; we’re not embarrassed to picture him hanging on a tree, bloodied and pierced, because he chose it for himself; to teach us his Way. Although it would have been the easiest thing for him to do; he didn’t save himself, in-order-to-save-us. Why his choice is not seen as heroic, appears hypocritical. Our brothers and sisters that die protecting us as soldiers and policeman are declared heroes; but, the Crucified Christ, who died so that we can have eternal life, is a loser? What do people see, when looking at the Crucifix; or, is it even considered? That may be the reason some Christians, would rather have a cross, as a symbol of their Christianity, without the embarrassment of a ridiculed Savior attached. There’s something missing from that barren cross.
What’s missing is our Lord and Savior: King of the Universe! When we are transformed by our devotions; practicing what we believe…we’ll look upon our Crucified Lord, and rejoice in who he is. He has always existed; is now, and always will be. God’s plan of love revolves around his only Son, Jesus. We who are fathers, whether birth fathers, or fathers through adoption, know the love that we have for our child…it’s 100% special! That’s the way it is for Jesus. Jesus is the one and only…the apple of his Father’s eye…everything the Father has, belongs to the Son…everything the Father plans, depends on the Son. The plans include the creation of the Kingdom. Its construction is left to us, and it won’t be complete until ‘God’s Will is done on earth, as it is in heaven.’ The materials needed for the construction are our prayers, fasting, and alms giving. Our lips must forever be in prayer to know God’s Will, to have the courage to accept it, and the strength to carry it out. We must fast from being selfish; and give preference to the poor. We must give of ourselves until it hurts. We must be relentless in our dedication to demand: that all babies grow into adulthood and succeed in life. The pro-life we profess is incomplete, unless: through our bank accounts and public agencies we guarantee, that they enjoy what is rightfully theirs in the eyes of God: healthcare, food, clothing, shelter. We have an obligation to educate them; train them in a skill so they won’t wind up homeless, or on death row; so they can work and make a living, and have the opportunities to make a life for themselves and their families. These are the babies that we fight for so hard—to not be aborted. We can’t abandon them because they are no longer fetuses; they’re no longer cute and defenseless. We can’t allow our investment, to end on the street like trash. We want to stop abortion for a reason, other than to be politically correct, feel good and guiltless; we want to do it so that the Jesus in each, can live life to the fullest. The return on our investment, culminates in the assurance; that there is no reason for them, to consider having an abortion, because of a selfish, cruel world.
Let’s you and I show that we aren’t part of a selfish, cruel world. Let’s put our money where our mouth is today and next weekend: Today, let’s give to the McAllen Pregnancy Center; next weekend to the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, which is dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty, by funding community programs that encourage independence. The bulletin today says it best: “Together, we can make a difference in families and communities across the United States. Please donate prayerfully and generously.” On behalf of all the babies helped, represented by the ones being baptized today; on behalf of the homeless, sick, hungry, unemployed, and desperate, thank you!