Homily for Friday of the 31st Week in Ordinary Time
As a nation, we are in the midst of one of the most uncertain times in our history. Think about just what has happened over the last three or four days. We still have no idea who is going to be our President for the next four years – and we likely won’t know for certain for another month or so at least. On top of that, we are dealing with a disturbingly increasing number of Americans who subscribe to socialist and Marxist ideologies. We have tremendous division happening throughout the country. Social unrest has been rampant over the last few months. Crime is soaring in many parts of the country.
All of these things are enough to drive a person crazy. If you are anything like me, over the last few months, you might have found yourself scratching your head wondering how you woke up in the twilight zone. That can lead us to a place of great temptation – putting us in a place where we get so caught up in the things happening around us that we forget what’s truly important.
In today’s first reading, St. Paul offers the Christian community in Philippi a challenge and it’s the challenge that we receive today. Are our minds so occupied with earthly things that we have forgotten that we are first and foremost citizens of heaven?
Now, just to clarify, St. Paul is not telling us that we aren’t called to carry out our civic responsibilities. We absolutely have an obligation to do that. Paul is saying that we have to abide by the laws of our country and participate in the life of our nation. But in the end, being a citizen of the United States – or whatever country we reside – is not our most important identity. Instead, that distinction goes to being citizens of heaven.
As beloved sons and daughters of God, we only have one true sovereign over our lives, one true king of our hearts: Jesus Christ. And because we know that this world is passing away, there is a promise that is associated with honoring our one true King – when everything in this world is gone, we will still have a place to call home: Heaven. And that is the reality that we are called to live out of.
The Lord is reminding us of that today. When things get crazy here in our country, when uncertainty and chaos abound, we can rest in peace knowing that God is in control, that He is with us and that He will always be faithful to His promise.