Christ has risen! He is truly risen!
But our culture has not. The joy and power of the resurrection is what we are all called to, but Holy Week brutally reminds us that Easter Sunday NEVER comes without going through Good Friday. And Divine Mercy Sunday (the last day for the Easter octave) reminds us of that inseparable reality as well. The Divine Mercy image highlights Jesus approaching us and offering us His life giving and forgiving Mercy pouring from with His pierced Heart surrounded by his evident scars from the crucifixion.
The question is: “But is the world approaching Christ?”
Not yet. But this current pandemic is a glaring invitation from Christ to do so. And let’s be very clear. No nation will truly “triumph” over this crisis unless it whole heartedly turns back to God. Regardless of the true origin of the coronavirus, it is clear that the timing of its emergence in the West during the penitential season of Lent was no mere coincidence.
Because the world has abandoned God, it must therefore go through a humiliation (largely of its own doing) in order to return to Him. For those who are saying to themselves: “What in the word is he talking about? That’s so overreactive. We’ll get through this like we do everything.” Sorry, you’re wrong. This first wave of the virus is a small warning and wake up call. What will certainly follow if the world doesn’t turn back to God in a serious way now will be much worse. Mark my words.
Forget social distance. The greater problem is spiritual distance. God is crying out to us and showing us fruits of our unprecedented distance from Him. How did we get here? Well, our reality check is brought to you complements of St. Paul:
The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse; for although they knew God they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man or birds or animals or reptiles.
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever! Amen.
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error.
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct. They were filled with all manner of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity, they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them but approve those who practice them.
There it is. Translated into today’s sins . . . we have Godlessness, ingratitude, idolatry (remember Pachamama?), sexual idolatry (pornography and fornication), apathy and religious indifference, the rise of new age spirituality, sex trafficking, elite pedophile rings, gender ideology, the push for trans-humanism, redefinition of marriage, redefinition of family, redefinition of gender, the Church split, priesthood split, marriages split, families split, personalities split, worship of technology, world-wide depression, and the list goes on and on and on. And of course the blood of over one billion babies murdered worldwide through abortion since 1980 must never be overlooked. We have made Sodom and Gomorrah look like Sesame Place and if God doesn’t act on account of these unrepentant sins, he owes that city a huge apology. How merciful and patient our God is!
But, thanks be to God, all of this is coming to light more and more today and with each passing day, we see more clearly Lucifer’s end game. That is why we see him now going for broke to bring down the whole world social, political and economic order and the Church with it. And many STILL don’t see it because their sins have blinded them so greatly, as St. Paul just pointed out, that they can’t even distinguish between right from wrong.
Fulton Sheen warned us almost a century ago that when the world abandons God, the Church carries a large responsibility in that reality and judgment follows:
The hand of God will strike first the Church, then the world. We who are the watchmen set on the walls are the first to be judged. Jerusalem was destroyed only after Our Lord purged the temple. Jacob’s house felt the famine before the Egyptians did. The Jews were carried into captivity before the Assyrians fell to the Medes and Persians.
So, be forewarned where all this leads, America! Slavery! A dark, Godless, Orwellian anti-family slavery.
But Christ has risen as He said! Alleluia! And Easter becomes our summons to rise from our sleep!
But let us be clear, from this point forward we must choose. We are either part of God’s solution (triumph) or part of the problem (chastisement). And if you choose to be neither here nor there, you are a major part of the problem as the Holy Spirit made clear to the the Church of Laodicea:
I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing; not knowing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.
God, in His Mercy, therefore is permitting us to go through this great humiliation so that we can see why and how far we have abandoned ourselves from God. Fulton Sheen describes the why perfectly (and 80 years ago by the way!):
Modern man has been humiliated: neither his proud expectations of progress nor of science have turned out as he hoped. Yet he has not quite reached the point of humbling himself. He is still imprisoned in the self, and able to see nothing else beyond.…but the time is not far off when modern men will utter a frantic appeal to God to lift them from the empty cistern of their own egos. . .
And as soon as humanity accepts this humiliation and brings itself to its knees and turns back to God, we will understand why Sheen also foresaw that
We are living on the eve of one of the greatest spiritual revivals of human history.
What is Sheen talking about? Find out in part II on Friday.