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

First Week of Advent

Date: 
Mon, 11/28/2016
Author: 
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

At the present moment, throughout the world, there are 10 wars and 8 active military conflicts.
In addition to this there are violent conflicts in 64 different countries
involving 576 recognized militias and separatist groups.
At the present moment, in US federal, state, and county jails,
there are approximately 2,220,300 adults incarcerated.  That’s almost 1% of the population.
This is the highest percentage ratio in the world.
At the present moment, in the world, there are 795,000,000 starving people.
At the present moment, in the world, there are 6906 different languages being spoken,
over 4000 different religions, over half the world’s wealth is possessed by 1% of its people,
and there are at least 28,000,000 slaves who have zero wealth….
28,000,000 people in the world today who have nothing of value they can call their own.
 
Misfortune, adversity, affliction, trouble, hardship, distress, tribulations, burdens, concerns…
call these things whatever you may…they are a reflection of the current condition of humanity.
 
We can ignore these situations, dismiss them as exaggerations, push them out of our consciousness,
label them as someone else’s problems because they don’t affect “me” directly.
We can point the finger in blame. 
We can seek refuge…build high walls thinking we’re protecting ourselves. 
We can stand frozen in place, paralyzed by helplessness and hopelessness,
overwhelmed by the immensity, not knowing where to begin,
aware that what is necessary to remedy these conditions is beyond the limitations of any one person,
any one organization, even any one nation.
 
The story contained in the Old Testament and New Testament Scriptures is a story of universal hope.
The story is not fantasy, a flight of the human imagination which causes us to forget our troubles.
It is the story of God, who reaches into human history and says
“I know you are in trouble.  I know the trouble you experience is caused by evil and sin.
I will help you overcome this trouble.  I will deliver you from evil and sin….liberate you,
free you so that you can live in peace and happiness with understanding.  I will show you the way.”
 
The central character, the main character in the story of God’s help is Jesus Christ.
Jesus confronts the source of human trouble, evil and sin, in its most insidious form,
human death, which confronts us with the possibility of the loss of being and existence.
In Jesus, divine power and divine love are victorious over evil and sin
(evil being what is contrary to goodness; and sin being the human disregard and rejection of God’s ways.)
Within the big picture of human history, Jesus promises a future
when and where evil and sin will have no power and all will live in God’s goodness.
 
Advent is a time for us to rekindle our hope in God’s help,
to renew our vision of the future promised by Jesus Christ.
Advent is a time for us to confront within ourselves and within our world
the human arrogance that says “I don’t need God’s help.  The world doesn’t need God’s help.”
The problems that confront humanity cannot be resolved solely by ingenuity, creativity and inventiveness. 
There will never be a machine or a medication or a surgical procedure
that will rid us of all our human troubles.
Ultimately, human troubles will only be resolved by a change of heart and a change of mind
brought about by divine grace.
 
Our prayer for today:  “O Lord, as Creator and Redeemer, You are the answer to human troubles.  We yearn for Your grace, for it is the light that overcomes the darkness.  We wait for that time when the mission of Your Son, Jesus Christ, will find fulfillment.  May our lives, our words and our actions help and not hinder that mission.  Amen!”