"This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him."
The human being is born with a sense of right and wrong. Every baby knows, “What I like is good; what I don’t like is bad.” Only reluctantly are we persuaded that we may be wrong about that.
Eventually most people conform to the ethical standards they are taught. They agree: There are two ways to live, good and evil. The wise pursue goodness, the foolish pursue evil. The good will be rewarded, the wicked will be punished. If God is good and wise, he will bless the good and curse the wicked. So far, so good.
The Old Testament adds an entirely new, unexpected dimension -- the personal -- to this teaching. What was two has become three dimensional. God has chosen Abraham and his descendants as his beloved people. Who bless the Chosen are blessed; who despise the Chosen are accursed. Knowledge of the Good God must come through his Holy People.
Finally, God has revealed to the world his Only Begotten Son and made him the Lord and Judge of All. Who love the Lord Jesus are blessed; who curse him are doomed. He speaks clearly to us through the Mass and Sacraments, “This is my beloved son. Listen to him!”
As of Ash Wednesday, we have set out with Jesus for Jerusalem, Calvary and Easter. Today’s Mass reminds us of the urgency of this journey. We are rapidly approaching a crisis. The Lord himself will be condemned to death, and by his dying he will save those who are doomed. Our only hope is to listen to him.
During this time of national moral crisis, a crisis which is spreading from America and throughout Europe, thousands of honest, hard-working, tax-paying vulnerable people are being judged as undesirable, dangerous, illegal and immoral. They are being expelled from our country and from several European countries although they have broken no moral law.
When we listen to Jesus and remember his identification with the poor, despised and vulnerable, we have no choice but to welcome his beloved people into our communities.