The Church of Saint Agnes

1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

The Church of Saint Agnes
1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

Saint Agnes School | Contact Us

3rd Sunday of Easter

Date: 
Sun, 04/19/2015
Author: 
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

It is time for us to follow the example of the sun:   to rise and shine.
Not rise as in “to get up in the morning”
not rise as in “stand up at your place”
but rise as in “to move above, to move beyond”
It is time for us to rise above the violence plaguing our world;
not to escape, not to win our security, but to survey the scene with a broader view….
to see from a vantage point that allows us to see farther into the distance…..
into the past and into the future.
It is common knowledge:  the higher we go, the more we can see, the farther we can see.
It is time for us to rise above all the blaming, rise above the finger-pointing,
rise above sensationalizing, rise above the berating
rise above the complaining, the condemnation, the accusation, the denial, disagreement,
rise above the fear.
 
It is time to rise above physical and rational explanations as to why; 
why would a young man go on a killing rampage on a high school campus,
or in a movie theater, or at public event where thousands are gathered?
Why does any human being violate the dignity of another human being?  
For the very reason Cain killed Abel: evil.  Pure and simple. 
 
Evil exists in our world. 
It is a spiritual reality contrary to life, opposed to life. 
I don’t think it is coincidence that e..v..i..l spelled backwards is l..i..v..e”. 
Evil is a force…not a physical force like gravity or magnetism….but a spiritual force. 
And as such it can only be reckoned with through spiritual means.
 
The press, the FBI, local and national crime labs can sift through evidence,
they can analyze the content of recorded messages and photographs,
they can look at DNA, fingerprints and the tiniest spec of residue under microscopes;
they can work up psychological profiles, study family background.
They may come to the conclusion that mental illness played a major role in this tragic event;
and this explanation may satisfy the general public;
and the general public in response may demand an increase in funding
for treatment of mental illness….
But until “they” (civil authorities, people in charge, people seeking solutions, any involved party)
until they admit and recognize the existence of the spiritual world,
the existence of the realities of good and evil,
the effects on human life of love and hatred, of truth and deceit, of forgiveness and vengeance,
until “they” acknowledge that maybe, just maybe,
spiritual illness is at the core of such awful inhumanity…..
then armed guards in all our schools, triple locks on all our front doors
all the gun legislation in the world….will do little good.
It’s like the woman who woke up one morning with a yellow tint to her skin.
So she went to the skin doctor…the dermatologist…
who prescribed a cream she could apply
and suggested she get some sun.
After four weeks her skin condition did not improve…the yellow tint remained.
So she decided to see another doctor, one specializing in internal medicine.
This doctor diagnosed the problem as her liver
and prescribed medicine to increase its healthy functioning. 
Within two weeks, the woman’s yellow skin disappeared.
 
Even though it was her skin that turned yellow,
the woman’s problem wasn’t her skin, it was her liver.
And until she treated the problem, and not just a symptom,
her unsightly skin condition remained.
 
Our nation’s problem, our society’s problem, is not mental illness, it is spiritual illness.
And until we treat the problem as such, violence and sub-human behavior will continue.
And yes, just as with the woman, if her liver problem is never correctly diagnosed and treated
she could possibly perish
in our society, if our spiritual illness is not correctly named
if it is overlooked and neglected
then our society, could possibly perish…..could possibly loose its very soul.
Throughout history, well-established, sophisticated societies have collapsed
….moral decay being one of the contributing factors.
 
We have the answer.
The solution to this problem is within our midst…it is in our hearts:
faith in a God who is concerned for this world….
so concerned that he sent his son,
who died on a cross to set us free.
And who rose from the dead so that we might have new life.
 
We gather Sunday after Sunday to remind ourselves:  we are his children….
we have been baptized in Jesus Christ,
and as such we have a share in his victory over death.
It is our belief, our faith
that He alone has power over evil.
We seek out his instruction and eat the bread he provides.
For we know, the bread we eat becomes part of us….
….and the truth of Jesus Christ opens our eyes….
allows us to see what the world refuses to acknowledge:
 
 
 
 
 
Those who eat the bread of hatred become hateful.
Those who eat the bread of fear become fearful.
Those who eat the bread of revenge become vengeful.
Those who eat the bread of condemnation become condemning.
Those who eat the bread of selfishness become selfish.
Those who eat the bread of deception become deceived.
Those who eat the bread of ill-will show and express ill-will.
Those who eat the bread of sin become sinful.
Those who eat the bread provided by Satan become evil.
 
Likewise, those who eat the bread of love become loving.
Those who eat the bread of forgiveness become forgiving.
Those who eat the bread of truth become truthful.
Those who eat the bread of holiness become holy.
Those who eat the bread of goodness reflect goodness to others.
Those who eat the bread of life become life-giving.
Those who eat the bread from heaven are drawn to things of heaven.
Those who eat the bread who is Jesus Christ become Christian.
 
It is important that we eat what the Scriptures, what the Church sets before us
and feed it to our children
and offer it to our world.
 
It is nourishment and life for the soul.
It is armor protecting from death.
It is a lock, not for the front doors of our houses, but for our hearts,
to prevent evil from entering there.
It is law, legislation, not imposed from the outside,
but imposed from the inside,
the law of God, written on our hearts,
keeping us from embracing sin.
 
This is the stuff that makes all the difference to the world
for it promotes and protects human dignity.
It brings to fulfillment the very reason for our existence:
giving glory to God.
It keeps our understanding of the present, and our vision of the future
from becoming distorted and twisted.
It reminds us to be confident in the love of God
….and to live for more than just ourselves.
It challenges us to exercise our freedom
and choose what is life giving.
It awakens within us a new hope:
the world is not lost, it is not abandoned….it is redeemed.
 
 
It is time for us to rise….to be lifted up in our faith.
…to see from the heights
for when we are weighed down
dragged low into the muck and mud
our vision of life becomes tainted,
becomes limited to seeing only the muck and the mud.
 
We embrace a risen Lord.
We connect our lives to his life.
We accept his purpose as our purpose…his mission as our mission.
To follow him…is to rise with him.