We are in a period of DISORDER…return to REORDER by promoting life in our families
Who are the Saints? They are those people, in the past and present, who have helped make Heaven a little more visible here on earth. And we need a lot more HEAVEN on earth, today.
However, just as the Chosen people had to fight for the Promised Land, creating Heaven is not only about gentleness. As the Gospel reminds us: Heaven is a costly destination!
“Happy those who hunger and thirst for what is right: they shall be satisfied…
Happy those who are persecuted in the cause of right: theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
‘Happy are you when people abuse you and persecute you…” etc.
If you don’t believe me, just reflect on the struggle to create Heaven in a family, where mum and dad have to arm-wrestle with their children to ensure the right way of life is lived: with freedom comes non-optional duties. Sometimes it’s the children challenging bad parents.
Last week, Fr Richard Rohr OFM sent an encouraging note to his people and talked about the cycle of life: “we move from ORDER to DISORDER and then to RE-ORDER.” He mentioned how the EXILE of the Chosen people was a fall into DISORDER. But they were not falling down: they were falling up!
Why else would the Prophet tell them to take wives, raise children and work hard for the country where they are (for it is on that country they rely for food and safety). The whole world was sent into exile in March, 2020. We are now in a period of DISORDER.
This can be a time of despair, or a time of reflection and recognition: a time to sit at home and feel frustrated, or a time to be GRATEFUL for our home/ safety, and then ACTION.
Before ACTION, we must reflect/ grieve and be honest: an honest appriasal of our lifestyles: how much do we consume? How do we get what we consume? How do we dispose of what we consume? And, finally, who gets left behind (suffers), because of what we consume?
Fr. Rohr: “DISORDER is upon us by reason of our planet, our history, our politics, our economy, COVID-19, and the widespread increase in mental and emotional unhealth.”
When the Chosen people were in Exile, they learned a lot of lessons & came back 70 years later (YEARS!) a much different people: they had re-ordered their relationship with GOD, by their relationships with each other: no more cheating on the weighing scales, no more land grabbing, no more killing, stealing or sexual abuse.
In the current, DISORDER, I feel deeply for our young people. In a sense, they can suffer the most in terms of lost hope, uncertainty, and insecurity. They are also the most vulnerable to all typs of abuse: underpaid, no health care, forced to give sexual favours, or nowhere to live/ eat.
Experts tell us that the key element dictating whether a child will cope with the difficult teenage years and mature successfully into adulthood is connectedness. That is, connectedness with family, peers and resources, to help them feel secure and build their hope for the future.
I think the same can be said for those under 25 years who have no jobs, struggle through Univ. or live in poverty. I include them in this homily as we try to understand the first reading:
Is God really planning to send multiple angels of death to destroy us? How do we get the seal on our foreheads to save us? (sounds like a movie out of Hollywood). The death angels are symbolic of actions that destroy life by destroying relationships with people and/ or the earth.
A few years back, Bishop Peter Elliott (Melbourne, Australia) said: “Pope John Paul II has canonised and beatified more people than any Pope in history. Recognising saints is part of his spiritual strategy to guide the Church through these perilous times. He knows that we need saints, that we need to see the witness of other lives devoted totally to Jesus Christ.”
One of our recent heroines, and Saint, is Mother Teresa. Let her wisdom to guide us ahead: “If your eyes are positive, you will love the world. If your tongue is positive, the world will love you.”
Are you ready to be a Saint? The world needs Saints, now, more than ever, if we are to come into a period of RE-ORDER: not a place to be afraid of, but our Promised Land.
Let’s stop focusing only on our personal moral failures and focus more on promoting life.
Promote life in our families; life at school; life at work; life in the womb; life in old age: LIFE = truth, joy, love and mercy.
Fr. Rohr: ”Our job is to make ‘Good Trouble’ — and probably even ‘Necessary Trouble’ — so that humanity can spiritually and politically mature. It is about falling — but, as always, falling upward.”
Be positive: see the good around you; think “opportunities” and speak with “encouragement”.
In a short time, our Promised Land will be in sight. God bless you as create RE-ORDER.
By Gerard Conlan, OMI