July 4, Independence Day. This year the greatest threats to liberty are our elected “representatives” in state legislatures who are attacking our right to vote; the Senate which has refused to even debate a federal law which would protect that right; a former president who persists in spreading the lie that he lost the election because of voter fraud. These people do not love our democracy. They do not even love our country. They love power. They do not deserve it. Of great concern are the millions of people who believe the lies of the former president and support him, the state legislaturres and the Senate.
Children arise to demand action on climate change! You are the ones who will have to deal with the results of present inaction to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.
This is the real Children’s Crusade. Unlike the crusade of centuries ago, this one can really make changes. You may be too young to vote, but you can still make your voice heard. You may know about Greta Thunberg and the School Strike for Climate. You may even have taken part in the strike.
when school is out you can continue to work for your future and the future of everyone you care about. You can talk to other children, even those in the first grade. You can talk to your parents. You can do little things such as planting trees and eating less meat. Let your concerns be known to the people who are supposed to represent you in government and to the heads of companies.
Lord our God, grant us your grace as we try to give our demdocracy a thorough housecleaning.
Bad practices have crept in and we have lost our moral bearings.
We are divided against ourselves and have lost the art of constructive compromise.
Those who were elected to run our government now think more of themselves than of the people, and of how to keep themselves in power.
They try to deprive us of our right to vote.
They foment racial injustice and close their eyes to domestic terorism.
They join in the lie spread by a former president that the election which he lost was not fair.
Again we pray that our democracy, almost 250 years old and once a beaccon to the rest of the world may not succumb to falsehood and the lust for power.
Voting is the primary right and duty of citizens of a democracy. Now there are efforts in many state legislators ot make voting harder. Those who introduce such gills and approve them are serving themselves rather than the people who elected them. This is true of gerrymandering also. Our state ligislators are making every effort to cling to power. Therefore they deserve to lose it. They are not serving our interests. they are derelict in duty. They arre committing a crime against democracy. Supressing voting should be a felony!
Lorrd our God, Give your grace and wisdom to those who are charged with making laws for our country. May they remember that the fundamental right of citizens of a democracy is to vote. May they do all they can to protect that right. May they not be seduced by the desire for power. May they be motivated y the deesire to serve those who elected them, rather than by loyalty to a party or individual. Amen.
This is the theme of a bok by Naomi Orestes and Eric Conway. They write from the p0erspective of a future historian. Pope Francis has also written an Encyclical on Climate chang and inequality. Climate change is a global problem that affects every one of us.Fortunateluy our current president is aware of it and of how it affects the poor in particular. The former president was not and risked making future disasters more likely.
Finally a U.S. government has obeyed Jesus concern for the poor and for children. Let all Christians rejoice, especially their leaders. The payments for childrren will reduce child poverty – maybe even abortion.
Lent is a time of getting ready for the party.
first, it is getting ready for Jesus’ resurrection at Easter in a few weeks. In the longer term it is getting ready to enjoy eternal life with him.
To get ready for a party we get cleaned up and put on our best clothes. We may even skip a meal or two to be ready to enjoy the good food which will be served.
Getting ready for a party may require some things that are unpleasant, but we put up with them because of our anticipation of the joys to come. In the same way we may give up some things for Lent. We go to Confession where we must acknowledge our faults. We redouble our attempts to pray well. We fast, according to the rules that the Church has given us. Above all, we give alms. We try to do something for the poor, remembering that in his proclamation in Nazareth in Luke’s Gospel Jesus says first, “I have come to preach the
good news to the poor.” And in his Sermon on the Plain he begins “Blessed are you poor.”
Hebrews 11:32-40 speaks of a great cloud of witnesses from the days before Christ who surround us.
Today, 2,000 years later, a period greater than the entire span of the old testament starting with Abraham, we have an even greater cloud
of those who followed Jesus and carried on his work by faith working through love.
First of all is Paul himself, who wrote those words.
He persevered through numerous persecutions, through the dangers he encountered in his travels and even through stoning.
Throughout the 2,000 years countless women and men laored with faith working through love for Christ. Many were persecuted, even kiled, for their work.
Most of them are unknown to us, but they surround us with their witness nevertheless.
Very close to our own time consider pope John Paul II. He spread the message of Jesus to every corner of the world, fostering peace between the different religions.
With great courage he opposed communism, even in the face of an assassination attempt. He helped bring it down.
Though he was aware of allegations against a former cardinal he was apparently persuaded by this person’s denials. He was wrong. Saints can make mistakes, even popes.
In our own day we have Pope Francis, who carries on the work of Jesus, spreading his message of peace, love and service to the world.
Lord our God, grant Joe Biden your special blessing. Give him the courage and wisdom to deal with the truly important things first.
spread y our peace over his inauguration. Remind those who oppose him that violence solves nothing. Graant those who are responsible for a peaceful inauguration with the courage to do their duty. Amen.