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

4th Sunday of Easter

Date: 
Sun, 05/07/2017
Author: 
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

We build flood walls and dams to protect us from flooding rivers.
We build concrete and steel shelters
            we have radio and TV warning systems
            wailing sirens in our communities
                        to protect us from tornadoes.
We have antibiotics to protect us from viruses
            insurance to protect us from bankruptcy
                        alarms to protect us from burglars.
We have government agencies to protect us from fraud
            airbags and seatbelts to protect us from injury
                        sun-block to protect us from the sun's rays.
What do we have to protect us from the devil?
 
I am grateful for the blessing of being a citizen of this country.
And it is a blessing…I had no control over my conception and birth.
I didn't pick my parents, my house, or my education
in middle-class America.
I appreciate the benefits of freedom, security, and stability…
the many opportunities that a majority of people in the world do not have.
And I know that these have been won
by the countless lives of men and women serving in our military.
I am more than willing to pay my fair share of taxes
to contribute to the overall good and to peaceful co-existence.
 
But I'm not willing to pin my hopes,
I'm not willing to sell my soul
for what will be in the end,
sterile and impotent against the power of evil.
 
Freedom may be a quality of God….but it is not God.
Security may be a quality of God….but it is not God.
Stability may be a quality of God….but it is not God.
Freedom will not save us from the devil.
Security will not save us from the devil.
Stability will not save us from the devil.
 
There is no force on this earth
no amount of accumulated wealth,
no military strong enough
no bomb big enough
no technology sophisticated enough
no measure of knowledge weighty enough
no virtue, no standard, no substance
that can or ever will, overthrow evil.
 
Security and stability and freedom are human comforts,
values to be enjoyed and protected
worth bringing to places in the world where they do not yet exist….
a wonderful legacy to pass on to future generations.
They are bought at a high price.
And we have paid and will continue to pay.
But make no mistake….
they are false shepherds.
They are not gods
to be worshiped and praised.
If we make them our idols
embrace them as the purpose of our living
then we become like them:
powerless against the devil.
They will not save us from the wolf at the door.
 
Security, stability and freedom do not prevent us
from being consumed by the wolf.  These do not prevent us from destroying ourselves.
They are not redemption.
Redemption is being in the presence of God
beholding the beatific vision for eternity
and the only way I know of to get there is through Jesus Christ.
The only way I know of to get there is to surrender to the authority, the care, the love of the Good Shepherd.
 
We have a right to protect ourselves
we have an obligation to protect our children.
But we also have the responsibility
to fulfill our baptismal promise and pledge:
"I will be faithful to you, O God.
I will not bow down to false gods."
 
In the end,
we can build what we think is prefect society
no crime, no war, no irritating differences.
We can live in peace
            enjoy security and stability.
But if we do so without God,
then all that we have done will be lost.
“If the Lord does not build the house,
then in vain do the builders labor.”
 
 
 
 
I believe, our task as Catholics in this country, in this world
is not to provide answers to all the problems that exist;
it's not even to defeat evil with good.
Nor is it our lot in life to simply sit in the background,
leaving the duties of governance in the hands of others.
We are just as qualified, just as competent.
 
Our task, our goal, our priority is to be in relationship with God.
This is not a business relationship
where we exchange one commodity for another,
making bargains, hunting for loopholes, seeking out the advantage.
This is not a puppet-master relationship
where God pulls our strings and we simply acquiesce to His commands.
This is a sheep-shepherd relationship
where the shepherd loves the sheep, protects the sheep, cares for the sheep,
and the sheep allow the shepherd
to love them….care for them….
keep them together in one flock, guide them to green pastures
and even die for them to protect them.
 
The military can protect the borders of our country.
But only Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd,
can protect the sanctity of our hearts and minds
from the greatest threat to human existence:  evil.
 
When freedom, security and stability
fail to protect the world from the wolf at the door,
the world will either be totally consumed by the wolf
or it will join the flock
protected by the Good Shepherd….this flock….our flock.
 
Sometimes we fail to appreciate and celebrate what we are part of
as members of St. Agnes Church,
as members of a universal Catholic Church
with this, the Word of God,
with this, the Eucharist,
with this, the community of faith.  In reality, these are boundaries.
They establish the line not to be crossed.
And these boundaries save us, they protect us, they keep us safe
from the evil that would destroy us.
 
We are many parts within one body.  We are many lives with one Spirit.
We are many sheep within one flock.  The Lord is our shepherd!
 
Today’s prayer:  “O Lord, we embrace Jesus Christ Your Son as our Shepherd.  His goodness is beyond measure.  Keep us from wandering outside the fence of His pasture.  Amen!”
 

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