I don’t know if you had the opportunity to listen to the Bishops meeting last week o EWTN. They were discussing the Health and Services Mandate that begins very soon and the ramifications of that edict on our right to express our religion in the public forum. It is sobering when you here a Bishop stand up and say, we have to consider what will happen, if we loose – what will we have to sacrifice- our hospitals, our schools, our institutions for the physically and mentally disabled, our housing for the neglected elderly and sick, our institutions who care for the homeless and the poor and most of all, our right to express our opinion in the public forum.
A former official in the State Department described how the administration is changing the language of our right to religious freedom to our right to religious worship which narrows our freedom in the public forum and reserves it within our houses of prayer.
It is alarming to think with what personal sacrifice Americans have defended the right to religious freedom throughout Europe, Asia and in the Middle East that now we must defend the integrity of our own Constitution.
What can we do? The Bishops have organized a Fortnight (14 days) for Religious Freedom from June 22 – July4. Find out what you can do on our parish website: MDPPARISH.COM.
In the meantime, let us look at the parable revealed to us today When Mark says, ‘the Kingdom of God’ he refers to the ‘reign of God,’ the day when all mankind accepts the Will of God and fulfills it perfectly on earth as it is in heaven.
There are three lessons we can learn here:
The parable tells us of the helplessness of man. The farmer does not make the seed grow. Human beings cannot create. They can develop, nurture, discover, even rearrange, but they cannot create. Man is not God.
Only in arrogance do people believe they can create. Humans will always and everywhere be subject to the natural law of creation. For behind all things is God. He is the Master of Life.
Secondly, the parable tells us something about the Kingdom. Jesus uses the mustard seed and its natural growth to describe the coming of the Kingdom; the germination of a seed, for instance into a mature tree is often unnoticeable. The Kingdom of God is the same. Over time one who has the eyes of faith, sees the hand of God working. No matter how much we try to stop it, despite our pride and busyness, the Kingdom of God continues to come.
Thirdly, the parable summons us to be prepared. Death is a perfect teacher. When we witness a person dying we see all the cares of the world being left behind and only the really important things in life stay close. You hear it again and again. The three most important things in life: God, Family and God – nothing else. This is how we get ready, we put these things in perspective and everything else will fall into place.
If we determine to live with an undefeated patience, with hope rather than despair, and are always prepared to see the light of eternal life, we will, by the grace of God, be ready for the coming of God’s Kingdom.
We are in a time of clarity in our country and in our Church. What we believe matters. We believe in our God given right to express what we believe in the public forum and to offer in trust, our gratitude to Almighty God for what He gives us.