The Choice is Clear

Dear Friends,

We have an interesting first reading this weekend from Job. As you know, Job, a righteous and just man, undergoes severe trials and tribulations of every kind. We hear the following, “Job spoke, saying: Is not man’s life on earth a drudgery? Are not his days those of hirelings? …So, I have been assigned months of misery, and troubled nights have been allotted to me. …My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle; they come to an end without hope.

You can hear the heartache and pain in Job’s words. Job, however, stays the course. He remains personally innocent before God and neighbor. He is vindicated in the end and blessed once again. Perhaps Job’s sentiments or similar ones have welled up within us during these months of pandemic, these moments of cultural, political, social, racial turmoil and troubles, with its attending confusion and uncertainty about the future. It would be easy to give into hopelessness.

Saint Augustine would see all that we are surrounded by and experiencing today as the natural state of the City of Man. He would remind us that the world is changed one soul at a time. Each of us has a role to play, a work to contribute, a hand to reach out to bring our brothers and sisters to the Lord, to build up the City of God, the Kingdom of God. And we do that just exactly where God has placed us.

I read recently, “C.S. Lewis once wrote that “There is no neutral ground in the universe; every square inch, every split second, is claimed by God and counter-claimed by Satan.” I suggest there is plenty of evidence for that claim. But, let us turn to our Gospel. We find Jesus, curing the sick, driving out demons and preaching the Kingdom of God. The sick are made well, the demons are driven out, the Kingdom is made visible in His very presence. The questions arise. Where do we want to be standing? Where do we want to be looking? How do we want to be living, speaking, and acting at this moment of time given to us?

In the end, the choice is crystal clear, the consequences just as real. Nevertheless, we do have to choose. Praised be Jesus Christ! Now and forever!

God bless you, God love you,

Monsignor McCulken

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