“Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God.” Therefore, according to the Gospel, any citizen can be a good Catholic – that is, side with Jesus Christ and the Pope, and do good to his fellow men – and at the same time side with Caesar, namely, observe the laws of the land, except when the rulers persecute religion or tyrannize the consciences and minds of citizens." – St John Bosco
(Scripture text: HEB 6: 10-20)
Brothers and sisters:
God is not unjust so as to overlook your work
and the love you have demonstrated for his name
by having served and continuing to serve the holy ones.
We earnestly desire each of you to demonstrate the same eagerness
for the fulfillment of hope until the end,
so that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who,
through faith and patience, are inheriting the promises.
When God made the promise to Abraham,
since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself,
and said, I will indeed bless you and multiply you.
And so, after patient waiting, Abraham obtained the promise.
Now, men swear by someone greater than themselves;
for them an oath serves as a guarantee
and puts an end to all argument.
So when God wanted to give the heirs of his promise
an even clearer demonstration of the immutability of his purpose,
he intervened with an oath,
so that by two immutable things,
in which it was impossible for God to lie,
we who have taken refuge might be strongly encouraged
to hold fast to the hope that lies before us.
This we have as an anchor of the soul,
sure and firm, which reaches into the interior behind the veil,
where Jesus has entered on our behalf as forerunner,
becoming high priest forever
according to the order of Melchizedek.
On this anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision that opened the doors to legalized abortion, the Church asks us to pray for legal protection of the unborn.
If you’ve ever seen a fence around a pasture, you can understand the need to pray for a change in our laws. We all know that a pasture fence helps keep the animals together and provides protection from outside dangers. Could the sheep stay together without a fence? It’s possible, but not likely. Sheep aren’t very good at regulating themselves, after all.
Laws function in a similar way. They set limits for human behavior. While God created us to gravitate toward the good, sin has altered our attractions, and we now have trouble making the right choices. Where our natural impulses may take us down the wrong path, a good law can correct our trajectory. It holds us to a higher standard and helps us to live peacefully with each other.
So on this day of grim remembrance, let us take up the call to pray for just laws that protect the innocent. Such laws certainly would help stop the slaughter of unborn children. But even more important, laws protecting them could create some breathing room, an environment of safety until people’s hearts could come to a deeper and more lasting change. But let’s also pray for a transformation of minds and hearts, so that the protection of the unborn becomes a no-brainer.
May we all work for both results: just laws and softened hearts!