Monday, 21 May 2012

Happy Birthday Queen Victory

Waiting on the Lord
            This time of the year we are reminded that 40 days after Easter, Christ ascended into heaven. And so we are waiting for him to come again. And 50 days after Jesus rose from the dead, the Holy Spirit, who the Disciples were told to go to Jerusalem to wait for there, descended upon them at the Feast of Pentecost, which is this Sunday. We are told more than once in the Bible to wait upon the Lord. The Israelite had to wait in the desert for the Promised Land. We have to wait until Paradise to be with our Creator.                                                                          
            If we want to make spiritual progress, we have to wait on the Lord. We need to wait in prayer. And God is waiting for us. He is like a father of a prodigal son, waiting for him to come home. If you have ever been in a stressed relationship, there is a period of time that you are waiting on a mate to be reconciled. It may be that they have been waiting for you too at some time. To me, that is what waiting on the Lord is like.
Yesterday was not only Ascension Sunday in Canada, although in the USA you may have celebrated it on Thursday, it was also Communications Sunday for Roman Catholics. Our Fr. John said in the homily that when the Lord died, it was much worse than having your cell phone taken away by a parent, for the Apostles. Or it was much worse for the first parents when they were exiled from Paradise. And it will be even worse for us if we don’t go there when we die. But for 2000 years we have had the Living Word among us.
And now the Lord sits at the right hand of the Father to intercede for us. The more time we communicate with God, at work, home or at Mass, the more spiritual progress we make. Communication networks can be used for great good or great evil. The Pope admonishes us to use technology for great good. Many take the evils of pornography, threats, hate, bullying, drugs and weapons sales for granted in cyberspace. May the Lord bless my use of the internet and may God forgive me for any time I have misused it.

Happy 24 Holiday, if you are celebrating this weekend in the Commonwealth.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

The First of May

International Workers Day ‘12

            Today is also May Day, and the Solemnity of St. Joseph the Worker. Mayday is a cry of distress and Catholics, if not Christians everywhere, should declare an official panic. It is the day that my ancestors danced around a May Pole and today sexual liberalism is everywhere. While I can’t agree with the socialist’s agendas against Monotheism and right to life; I can’t agree with the Conservative’s against the progress of the labour movement either. This doesn’t leave me many friends. But in Morning Prayer this morning, the Canticle from Daniel 3 verses reads “For we are reduced, O Lord, beyond any other nation,/brought low everywhere in the world this day/because of our sins.//We have in our day no prince, prophet, or leader,/no holocaust, sacrifice, oblation or incense,/no place to offer first fruits, to find favor with you.//But with contrite heart and humble spirit/let us be received;/as though it were holocausts of rams and bullocks,/or of thousands of fat lambs,/so let our sacrifice be in your presence today/as we follow you unreservedly;/for those who trust in you cannot be put to shame.”

            St. Joseph is the patron saint of St. Joseph’s, here in Belleville, where I often go during the week, when I can’t get to St. Michael’s church. He is the patron saint of Canada and worker’s hence: here it is a Solemnity Feast Day, now. While the first of May originally celebrated Communists victories; triumph’s which entailed persecutions of Christians, Jews and other martyrs, it has been embraced by the New Left and Catholics as a day of solidarity with marginalized, slaves and unions. It is obvious that any form of killing for a cause is wrong but I do not feel reactionary reductions of benefits for the poor and unemployed is anything more than claiming rights for earnings I’ve worked for having without embracing my responsibility to the human family. God blesses us with what we have in North America and He can take it away.

            Another right which is being abused is the right to choice. Who can deny that we should have free will to choose abortion or euthanasia as opposed to the right to life. But doesn’t this take away the right of the unborn to live? Or take away the right of a person to live as long as they can? The Catholic Church doesn’t take away freedom of choice, but defends life, and always has. Evangelicals have got on the band wagon also and are agreeing to this right to life as well. I think the error in our society comes before a state of emergency that seems to threaten family and personal freedom when we still feel we can enjoy the rites of Spring in gaily and liberally free sex. When we value the quality of life so dearly that we want to end it before a natural lifespan we aren’t embracing the responsibility that comes from having rights either.

            St. Joseph is remembered for his strong family values. Whether he was a widower and had a family, the cousins, which would be a better word to be used as a translation than brothers, of Jesus, or Joseph remained a virgin all his life; all look up to him as keeping Mary a virgin, and being the stepfather of our Lord. Maybe Mary taught Jesus to read and write or maybe it was Joseph: who probably took Him to the synagogue a lot, and instructed Him in the traditions that came down from his ancestor King David. Certainly his chastity is something that should inspire fathers today to be there for their unborn, their children, and the mothers of them. And it should inspire people to wait for marriage before sex. He should inspire people to accept humble work, if they can get it, and pray they are ready willing and able. And he should inspire people to be good stewards of whatever God gives them, and take care or look after families. Saint Joseph, the Worker, pray for me.