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(Part 193)


August 12, 2016

Today’s readings:
Ezekiel 16:1-63
Isaiah 12:2-6
Matthew 19:3-12

The New Evangelization is intended to bring God’s people, who are lost, back to God and back to the Church. The Church is the bride of Christ, but she has been unfaithful. The situation of God’s people (Israel) then was the same as the situation of God’s people (Christians) today. Or perhaps even worse.

Today we need a prophet like Ezekiel to tell us the truth of our situation (since many bishops today will not do so). “Son of man, make known to Jerusalem her abominations.” (Ez 16:2). Despite what God has done for us, bringing us out of the darkness and filth of sin into His presence and embrace, just as God did to Israel (Ez 16:4-14), we have responded with infidelity, with rebellion, with modern-day idolatry, with the abominations of abortion, divorce and same-sex unions. In turning away from God and embracing the world, the bride of Christ has made herself a prostitute (Ez 16:15-34).

In what ways? Among many others:

  • Divorce. Divorce has been legalized and is widespread. This is contrary to God’s design from the very beginning. Husband and wife become one flesh. “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” (Mt 19:6). Divorce has devastated the family and society.
  • Adultery. Sex outside sacramental marriage is widespread and accepted. “Adulterous wife, taking strangers in place of her husband!” (Ez 16:32). This includes those who have divorced (assuming a previous valid sacramental marriage) and remarried. “I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another commits adultery.” (Mt 19:9).
  • Abortion. The Israelites turned to child sacrifice. “You slaughtered and immolated my children to them, making them pass through fire.” (Ez 16:21). Today’s Christians have advanced many steps further, murdering the unborn in the womb, and doing this in the millions.
  • Same-sex unions. Today’s secular culture, including many even in the Church, is accepting this as normal. It is not. It is abnormal. It is an abomination. It is not God’s design. “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’” (Mt 19:4). There are only 2 sexes, not 70+ genders.
  • Injustice to the poor. This was the other sin of Sodom, aside from sexual depravity. “Now look at the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters were proud, sated with food, complacent in prosperity. They did not give any help to the poor and needy.” (Ez 16:49). This is a great scandal in the world, and cries out to heaven for justice.

As such, we are all under God’s wrath and condemnation. “I will inflict on you the sentence of adultery and murder; I will bring on you bloody wrath and jealous anger.” (Ez 16:38). Woe to us all, as God is a God of justice. “I will deal with you for what you did; you despised an oath by breaking a covenant.” (Ez 16:39). We will be punished for sin. But God is also a God of mercy. God can restore us, if we let Him. “But I will remember the covenant I made with you when you were young” (Ez 16:60a). If we repent and turn back to God, then we can again we right with Him. “For I will re-establish my covenant with you, that you may know that I am the Lord, that you may remember and be ashamed, and never again open your mouth because of your disgrace, when I pardon you for all you have done” (Ez 16:62-63).

How will this wonderful development happen? People need to turn back to God and back to the Church. How will that happen? They need to be re-evangelized. We need to proclaim the good news of salvation in Jesus. We need to share Christ. Then people can start to once again live Christ. “Among the nations make known his deeds, proclaim how exalted is his name. Sing praise to the Lord for he has done glorious things; let this be known throughout all the earth.” (Is 12:4b-5a).

This is the urgent work of the New Evangelization.

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