When Jesus arrived at the official’s house and saw the flute players and the crowd who were making a commotion, he said, “Go away! The girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they ridiculed him. When the crowd was put out, he came and took her by the hand, and the little girl arose. And news of this spread throughout all that land. [Matt 9: 23-26]
As this story shows, Jesus has the authority to restore life.
Having just celebrated America’s 235th Fourth of July, it is not a stretch to say that Independence Day is to the United States what the Day of Pentecost is to the Church. It is the birthday of a nation. And the Gospel message applies not only to “we the people” but also to “we the nation”. We, as children of God, recognize God as the author of life. He creates and sustains life and He has given all authority to His Son, Jesus. Therefore, we know that, as individuals, we live and move and have our being in, and because of, Him. This is true for us as a people. This is also true for us as a nation.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower once said,
“Maybe our Country needs to recapture the pride of its earlier years!”
Obviously that President was concerned about the condition and direction of our Nation at the time. I wonder what his observation would be if he were still with us today.
As a nation there is much that we can and should be proud of. Let us be proud of our Forefathers and for their principles and ideals that created this great Nation of ours. Let us be proud of our freedom and liberty that was purchased and maintained at such a great price by the many who have gone before us. Let us be proud of our Declaration of Independence and of our Constitution that has opened our vast continent to all liberty loving people everywhere. And let us be proud of our achievements as a people that have made us a great nation. But let us never forget that, as a nation, we live and move and have our being in, and because of, Him.
As a nation there is much that we can and should be proud of. But there is also much for which we must repent; like abortion on demand, uncontrolled spending, and removing God from our schools and institutions.
I attended a Catholic grade school, and I remember reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in the classroom at the beginning of each and every day.
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty, and justice for all.”
This passage from Matthew’s Gospel reminds us that ultimately Jesus holds the power to not only sustain, but to restore life. May we never forget that we are “One Nation Under God”, and that our existence and continued survival as a nation rests solely in Him.
REVEREND MR. DONALD COX is a permanent deacon of the Archdiocese of Detroit. On June 9, 1979, Deacon Don was ordained to the diaconate by His Eminence John Cardinal Dearden, an important American Father of the Second Vatican Council. He is currently assigned to St. Cornelius parish in Dryden, Michigan. Married and the father of three children and grandfather to four children, Deacon Don was born and raised in Detroit, and educated at St. Brigid Elementary School, Mackenzie High School, and Lawrence Technological University. His theological training was taken at Detroit’s Sacred Heart Major Seminary.