This morning my wife and I started discussing the state of our society. You don’t need me to tell you that America is in dire straits. I could list all the atrocities, but the reader will be here all day, so I won’t do that. Instead, let’s focus on the mass killings that have happened over the past several years and really for the last two to three decades. Not to blow things out of proportion, but it is almost like America is on auto-self-destruct, and we aren’t really doing anything as a country to defuse it. My theory is that its because we are ignorant of the root issue. I personally don’t claim to know what that issue is or where it stems from, but I have a theory: the toxic concoction of defiance of the natural law and the neglect of the poor.
A lot of us have heard from our pulpits how our society can be compared to Sodom and Gomorrah, and our particular relationship with those ancient failures as being in the breaking of the natural law. But that isn’t necessarily the only reason why they got wiped out. The Holy Prophet Ezekiel makes that clear, “Behold this was the iniquity of Sodom thy sister, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance, and the idleness of her, and of her daughters: and they did not put forth their hand to the needy, and to the poor. And they were lifted up, and committed abominations before me: and I took them away as thou hast seen.” In the midst of their sin, they hated the poor, and in turn got their comeuppance.
While this is a global issue, America seems to be particularly accelerated in it’s resolve to destroy itself. I think it is because our inherent love of freedom, and the bastardization of the meaning of freedom—which has led to some pretty devilish notions and compounded our bad choices as a country. Perhaps it all could be traced back to this quote from Justice Kennedy, “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” If you’re a Christian, this quote reeks of a certain garden or a certain fallen angel many moons ago. It is basically saying “I am the definer of all reality. I will be like God. I will serve myself.” Yet, this is what seems to be the most popular definition of freedom in America today, and it’s satanic to say the least.
So you have a toxic chemical mixture of saying no to the natural law, neglect and hatred of the poor, and the catalyst of satanic freedom. It’s a scary situation. Now, more than ever, we need to stay in God’s good graces, repent, and be Christian men wherever we find ourselves. Let’s start, however, by paying attention to the needs of the poor and by loving them. What does God mean by the poor? Our minds and hearts should move first to those who are suffering economically, are hungry, and without the basic comforts of life. Yet, our Lord (who in a lot of ways revolutionized this idea that we must love the poor, and in a lot of ways gave that to Christendom as a unique and distinctive trait) also says “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” These are those who are difficult to love, but are poor in ways that are not financially based. Hardened sinners. The mentally disabled. The elderly. The sick. The socially awkward. The vocation-less. The depressed. The anxious. The addicted. The divorced. The remarried. The annoying. The unkempt. The cowardly. The fatherless. The friendless.
These folks need us. They need our love. They need Christ’s love. Many of the shooters that have swept through our schools, churches, hospitals and universities went unloved and neglected and hated. They were poor and we received them not. And, as a retribution for neglecting them and countless others, we are suffering at the hands of such poor. What’s next? I have had to travel a lot for my current job, and the distinctive characteristic of the American city is its contempt for the poor. You hear it in their speech and see it in their actions. It has gotten so bad in San Francisco that the homeless will scream in your face trying to get your attention. God help us.
What can we do? We can start locally. Carry cash with you so you can give a couple dollars here or there. Get involved with ministries at your church that help the poor. Make a regular donation to a charity. Be kind. Teach your children to be kind. Teach them to be protectors of the “poor in spirit” on the playground. Ask the person at work that you don’t like how their weekend was. Be present, love souls sincerely and be interested and anxious for the happiness of all.
Holy Spirit, father of the poor, have mercy on us.
Lord Jesus Christ, father of the world to come, have mercy on us.
Almighty Father God and King, retribution of the poor, have mercy on us.