Thursday, July 4, 2019

Thursday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

(Genesis 2:1b-19; Matthew 9:1-8)

Today’s first reading is a hallmark of the Bible and of Western Civilization.  In it God tests Abraham by telling him to kill the son he had longed for.  Abraham does not delay in complying and stops only when God sends a contravening order.  By his obedience, Abraham shows himself a worthy beneficiary of God’s awesome blessing.  He can be a true father to many nations.

As the United States celebrates its foundation today, it faces a test similar to Abraham’s.  The premise for its freedom from England was based on natural law.  As its founders proclaimed on July 4, 1776, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  The test is whether the nation will continue to pursue freedom in accord with God’s will as given in human nature.  The alternative path on which the nation is headed is to dally in invented freedoms like abortion and homosexual marriage.

We come together today to implore the risen Lord present in our midst.  We ask him to straighten the distorted path the United States has taken in recent years.  We pray that a nation so well-endowed with resources may not deviate from the way of freedom upon which its founders set it.