The season of Lent did not go exactly as planned in my own life. Sickness and fatigue have consumed many of my days. I regret the cancellations I had to make due to these circumstances. I also regret not being able to participate in the 40 Days for Life campaign. I am grateful for the many people who were able to participate and for the over 400 lives that were preserved from destruction by the faithful witness of these dedicated individuals.
The challenges in our world continue to grow. We can look to the issues surrounding a nuclear deal with Iran, the escalating threat of ISIS, the persecution of Christians in the Middle East, and a whole laundry list of potential dangers to our civilization. However, we can also look much closer to home and see the dangers as well. The culture of death continues to loom large. Religious intolerance seems to be escalating. Look to the attacks on Archishop Salvatore Cordileone in San Francisco as an example when Church leadership takes a stand on moral principles, or to the state of Indiana to see what happens when laws are passed safeguarding religious freedom. It isn’t pretty.
If anyone opposes the agendas of the liberal establishment they are labeled as intolerant, illiterate, and homophobic. The only ones that seem to be acceptable targets of intolerance are Christians. As we cling to our “guns and our Bibles” the society as a whole claims it is okay to denigrate our beliefs. How sad is that for our society? What will be the end result?
The passion of Christ reminds us that the Christian way of life will not always be accepted. If Jesus was mocked, tortured, and crucified, why do we expect different treatment in our pilgrimage? The question that we can pose to ourselves is a simple one. Will I stand firm in my faith? I can only imagine the devastation Peter felt when he heard the cock crow and he realized that the words of Jesus had come to pass. Will we deny Jesus, run away, lock our faith up in the doors of our home and in our churches, or will we be faithful and run the race to the finish line?