For many of us, going to church is like going to a sanctuary or a refuge—a place to escape from the craziness of the world for an hour. But at the end of Mass we are sent back out on a mission. As a deacon, I will proclaim: “Go forth, the Mass is ended.” We are sent out into a world fraught with conflict and division.
For we live in a divided nation. The presidential election was a testimony to that—I stayed up until 3:00 in the morning waiting to learn the results because the race was so close. We are a divided nation—half of our country is happy with the path our country has been traveling for the last eight years.
- They are not concerned with the attacks against the unborn and the elderly.
- They are not concerned about the lack of morality and the attacks on the sanctity of marriage that exist in our country.
- Half of our citizens do not recognize, or do not care, that our culture is in serious moral decline.
And so, many gathered to pray for our country and to pray that the election outcome would be according to God’s will. And I believe that God gave our nation a second chance. But we have a lot of work ahead of us to change hearts, not just to try to influence elections.
On November 9th, the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome, a reading from Ezekiel (47:1-2, 8-9, 12) is proclaimed: “The angel brought me back to the entrance of the temple, and I saw water flowing out from beneath the threshold of the temple.”
We are that water. We cannot hide within church walls in isolation attempting to be safe from the world around us. We must flow out and bring the Good News to the world around us to heal the wounds of division that jeopardize not only our country’s future, but more importantly, that jeopardize souls.
Are you happy with the election results? Then you probably weren’t happy four years ago or eight years ago. Now is not a time to be complacent. Let’s not wait four more years to fight and pray again. Ezekiel described the flow of water from under the wall of the temple as a trickle. And I think that this is often how we go back out into the world when we leave at the end of Mass—we trickle. We stay within the security of our own community of like-minded friends, but little of our faith flows out into the world around us.
We cannot continue to be a trickle, or we will find ourselves faced with the same political anxieties again four years from now. We cannot continue to be a trickle—we must become like a raging river, carrying our faith to those who do not know Jesus in every corner of our nation. Only then will we change hearts. Only then will our elections become matters of honest debate, and not ones driven and dominated by non-negotiable issues. How wonderful it would be if both major political parties nominated a pro-life, pro-family, candidate for a presidential election.
We are the water flowing out from our church buildings, our temples of today, to proclaim the Good News to our countrymen. As Detroit’s Archbishop Vigneron said in his call to evangelization, we must: “Unleash the Gospel.” We must make a decision to be part of the evangelization effort; an effort that will change votes by changing hearts. Blood and water did not trickle from the Body of Christ as He hung upon the cross for us—it gushed forth. As we go forth, let us not be a negligible trickle. Let us gush forth as a raging river to cleanse our nation and lead it back on the path to once again being proudly one nation under God.