An Advent Reflection

An Advent Reflection December 1, 2018

The United States simply won’t last forever. It is an idea with an expiration date, though we can’t read that date.

As Americans, we cannot conceive of such a universe. Deny it as we may, it is the world we inhabit; the reality in which we live, and move, and have our being. It is as if the very structure of the universe includes it. But it too is subject to the law of entropy; it too is a Tower of Babel, destined to end in confusion and ultimate disintegration.

And it is sin that is the fuel of this disintegration. Sin is a power, a force, which first entices, then overpowers the human soul, until it becomes the animating force in a person’s life and simultaneously works decay and ultimate death.

So it is with our political entities, particularly those entities that exist as deliberate creations of the human mind. As noble as our aspirations seem, we cannot help but infect our political creations with our disease. Our loftiest goals are a veneer for self-interest; our edifices of political thought are counting-houses in which we calculate what we deem to be owed us.

Credit the Founding Fathers with acknowledging these realities, and trying to make a system of checks and balances, albeit limiting access to check and balance status. But they could not overcome their own fallibility and the sins of our national origin: conquest, genocide, and one of the most brutal slave regimes in the history of humanity.

And we fill up the measure of our fathers. Hundreds of thousands of infants are aborted each year. Billions are owed in back child support, as millions of children have been abandoned by their fathers. Civil rights has become largely about the exercise of our libido, while law enforcement is infested with racism. The rich achieve wealth unknown to human history, while their employees are forced to forage on food stamps. We risk, against the whole world, environmental cataclysm for the sake of short term profits. We fire tear gas on would-be immigrants fleeing for their lives, and incarcerate their children. We kill innocents abroad in the name of eradicating the terrorists created by our own policies.

It is thus appropriate to recall the words of Isaiah:

“Behold, the day of the Lord comes,
cruel, with wrath and fierce anger,
to make the earth a desolation
and to destroy its sinners from it.
For the stars of the heavens and their constellations
will not give their light;
the sun will be dark at its rising
and the moon will not shed its light.
I will punish the world for its evil,
and the wicked for their iniquity;
I will put an end to the pride of the arrogant,
and lay low the haughtiness of the ruthless.
I will make men more rare than fine gold,
and mankind than the gold of Ophir.
Therefore I will make the heavens tremble,
and the earth will be shaken out of its place,
at the wrath of the Lord of hosts
in the day of his fierce anger.”

(Isaiah 13:9-13)

But this is the season of Advent, when we recall the first coming of Christ, and look forward to his second. It is both a remembrance and a promise. Jesus warns that nature itself will seem to turn against us, that “there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” (Luke 21:25-26) But then, when all seems lost, “they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” (Luke 21:27) So when we see these things, when the world suffers from the natural and probable consequences of our own actions, Jesus tells us to “look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Luke 21:28)

It is of the essence of the Christian faith that good will triumph over evil. This is the promise of Advent. This is the promise of the Gospel, the Good News of the Kingdom which, unlike the nation, will not pass away.

 

The Catholic Edition of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1965, 1966 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

The icon of St. Joseph the Worker is by Daniel Nichols.

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  • P. McCoy

    No Infants are ever aborted; embryos and fetuses are not infants. In the case of a last tri mester abortion ,why do you insist that a Woman essentially commit suicide? Is it because as I suspect, it’s easy to be a Forced Birthed Male. The fact that you see an Aryan 2 year old Berber baby in an Ultrasound picture is YOUR problem, not mine. You can see whatever you want as long as YOU don’t mess with MY abortion rights.

    You don’t have to go to Gay Parades no more than I have to go to New Orleans Mardi Gras celebrations where heterosexuals perform sex acts in public and Women expose their bare breasts for all to see. However, just as the LAW would require me if I were a merchant to sell them food or water etc; so too the law requires YOU to sell goods and services to LGBTQ people , not hiding behind the skirts of false religious doctrines the same ones that were used 75, 80 and 100 years ago against BLACK people in the heyday of Jim Crow!

    The United States will evolve and change as has other nations, Europe has changed but Europeans still exist.
    So I hope to see a newer and more equitable nation in the future.

  • MurphsLaw

    You need some educamation there young lady…….. You are to be applauded to know the definition between an infant and a fetus….but it was all down hill from there.
    A pregnancy is a body growing inside of another body. That’s how we reproduce as a species, and while there are now different methods to achieve it, it still is a body growing within another body. If you want to claim there are certain rights to kill that internal body, then it must be assume that the victim should have some rights of its own. Now I don’t pretend abortion will ever go away, just don’t try to find some moral equivalency to make it an acceptable choice. We all disdain a disposable world….. Or should.
    What is with the racist “aryan” screed? You do know many African Americans also oppose abortion as well, right? You do know that The term Black Genocide refers to the disproportionate numbers of abortions black women are subjected to? Read up on Margaret Sanger and the goals of her life’s work while you’re at it.
    America was was borne on the basis of slavery. As Obama said it was genetic to Americans. There was no religious justification for it…… Actually it was Christian opposition that would ignite the abolition movements, requiring a bloody civil war to put an end to it. The southern racism was just a holder of that system. Racism or hate needs no religious foundation. The Lord uses the good ones, the bad ones use The Lord.
    Europe has changed alright…… And they are rioting in Paris today. You want an equitable nation.? For whom ? Everyone? Socialism? You do know the richest person in Venezuela is probably Hugo Chavez’ daughter. How’s that for socialist equity?
    Government has always stood for one thing. Some people having the power and ability to exert governance over other people. That’s it- every government since the beginning of time works that way. And there has never been a government that has come close to the equity you dream for…… That equity will never be found in this life, in this world; we may as well be vigilant, and focus on the next world.
    Have a wonderful Advent Season ! And check out a daily Advent reflection if you can too!

  • P. McCoy

    A fetus is no more a victim than is a cancer cell; even a tapeworm could be considered a “victim” because unlike a fetus , a tapeworm has sentience.

    What’s. “UP” with the “Aryan” Gerber baby illusion is that White Supremacy and unrealistic fears of “White Genocide” are the prime motivators behind the anti abortion/ anti contraception movement. I realize that there are Blacks against abortion who use the late and totally unrelated Margaret Sanger and her policies as reasons to be against abortion. In any case, IF abortion had been safe, LEGAL, low cost and AVAILABLE during Slavery, I have NO doubt that the majority of Black Women would have been glad to have aborted the obscenities forced upon their bodies by the rampant and repeated raping of the WHITE Slavemaster, his MALE friends, associates, relatives et all- mainly done as to create more slaves to fill their fields and with the female children born his bed.

    The best examples of the hypocrisy of the “Pro Life” movement is how such cultists will gnash their teeth and wail over a surgically excised post abortion fetal tissue, but shed NO tears over the bodies of BLACK and BROWN children gassed, shot up, beaten or starved by ICE, the Border Patrol or trigger happy Police Officers who gun down 12 year old Boys playing with toy guns!

    The Abolitionist movement was not entirely benevolent as such individuals in the majority wanted and DID send ex slaves back to West Africa to DIE of neglect, malaria, yellow fever and other diseases. They SURE were not willing to even consider treating them as people with RIGHTS, including the RIGHT TO LIVE- IN THE UNITED STATES!

    Any Black Woman that is being forced by anyone to have an abortion has recourse to the legal system to put an end to such undue force; even parents can’t force their minor daughters to terminate a pregnancy .

    If an entity depends 100 per cent on MY body for survival then I get to determine its survival-NOT you.

    Furthermore, it is NOT a matter of A Woman keeping her “legs closed” as IF she alone is responsible for pregnancy. The MAN can choose to “keep his P*nis in his pants, bring a condom, wear one (Women should have them safely and readily available) the saying ” No glove, no love” the watchword of the hour.

    The fantasy of forcing raped 10 year old girls to give birth to babies engendered by their male relatives etc; a la El Salvador, Nicaragua , Paraguay and Chile is NOT going to become the rule of LAW in the United States!