Tuesday, July 12, 2016


Homily for July 13th, 2016: Matthew 11: 25-27.

          Jesus breaks out in a spontaneous hymn of praise: “Father, Lord of heaven and earth, to you I offer praise; for what you have hidden from the learned and the clever, you have revealed them to the merest children.” The learned and the clever are those who fail to respond to Jesus, because they feel no need for God. Jesus’ disciples are “the merest children.” Their hearts and minds are open to the Lord.

          Who are the learned and the clever today? They teach in our elite universities; they run the great foundations, with names like Ford, Rockefeller, and Gates. They dominate Hollywood and the media. With few exceptions they consider the killing of unborn children whose birth might be an inconvenience to be a wonderful advance in humanity’s ascent from ignorance and superstition to enlightenment and freedom. They charge those of us who consider abortion for any reason a crime and a grave sin with waging a “war on women.” If there is a war, it is not on women. It is a war on selfish, irresponsible men, who put the pursuit of personal pleasure at the center of their lives and take no responsibility for the consequences apart from offering the woman they have used a supposed cheap fix which will leave her with months, years, and in not a few cases decades of regret and guilt.

Today’s learned and clever look down with patronizing scorn, disbelief, and hatred on those who insist that life is precious at every stage: in the womb, but also in old age, when Grandma’s mind has gone ahead of her, and her meaningful life is over. When we contend that marriage is the union of one man and one woman; and that re-defining marriage is an injustice to children, who have a right to a father and a mother, they denounce us as bigots, homophobes, and enemies of equality.

          Who, on the other hand, are today’s merest children? We are! We pray in this Mass that our merciful and loving Lord may keep us always so: aware that God cannot be mocked; that when we violate his laws, we always pay a price; yes, and aware too that we can never make it on our own; that we are dependent every day, every hour, and every minute on the One who came to show us what the invisible God is like; who always walks with us on the journey of life; and who is waiting for each one of us at the end of the road – to welcome us home!