Fr. Roger J. Landry
Espirito Santo Parish, Fall River, MA
30th Sunday in OT, Year B
October 29, 2000
Jer 31:7-9; Heb 5:1-6; Mk 10:46-52
(1) “Lord, that I may see!”
• This expression of Bartimaeus is more than a cry from a physically blind man.
• It has been a cry of Christian spirituality ever from the beginning. “Lord, I want to see.”
• See what? See him.
• See him in the faces of those you love.
• See him in the faces of those you find difficult to love.
• See him in all people who are sick, naked, in prison, hungry, thirsty.
• See him in the beauties of creation.
• See him and his will in my daily life.
• See him in discernment in terms of what he wants for my future.
• See him in the Eucharist.
• Ultimately see him forever face to face in heaven.
• We want to see him. Like blind people we come to him again today in prayer and worship and he asks us, as he asked Bartimaeus, “What do you want?” Today, again, we ask him that we may see, that he may remove whatever blindness keeps us from seeing him, so that we may see his beautiful face shining and smiling on us.
(2) There is one place that right now we need to ask him to help us to see him and his will: the upcoming elections. In this area, just like in any other area of our life, we can often be blind to the great privileges and great responsibilities we have before God.
• We can often become blind to the great gift of freedom we enjoy in this country. Many others don’t live in such circumstances.
• We can become blind to our responsibilities with respect to that freedom. If we cherish our freedom, we need to do those things to protect it.
• We can become blind to the presence of God in public life, as so many of our politicians have.
(3) And so today I want to focus on seeing the Lord in the political process, because what we are about to do on November 7 is so important for the future of our country, and, because of America’s importance in the world, so important for the future of the world.
(4) Our culture is being progressively blinded to the presence of God by those who are trying to take God out of public life. Many judges. Many politicians. The ACLU. No prayer in public schools. Even Catholic politicians promote this, with being privately opposed, publicly in favor. This is a blind culture, a culture of death. We need to return to a culture of life, a culture in which the Light of the World shines.
(5) We need to see Jesus in the voting booth. When we enter the booth and close the curtain, we’re not alone. Jesus is there. And what we do there is very important. We should never give in to the lie that our vote isn’t important. Our one vote may not decide the election, but in our vote, we take a stand on who we are and what we stand for, whether we stand for Christ or whether we don’t. When we vote for one particular candidate or another, we’re voting on an issue or series of issues that define us as a person and we need to take a look at what those issues are.
(6) Story of St. Thomas More, new patron of politicians.
(7) So when we vote we hold our souls in our hands. We’re taking a stand. Are we voting only on the basis of party affiliation? That’s not enough, particularly if the party or the candidate stands for things that blind us to Christ. Are we voting only on the basis of finances? We cannot serve both God and mammon. Are we voting only on the basis of prescription drugs? Jesus says not to worry in the Sermon on the Mount. We should be voting for the candidate or the program who would best allow us to live out our Christian vocations, to raise our children in the faith, to create a culture that supports life and is truly human.
(8 ) So the second place we need to see Jesus is in the candidates themselves.
• Jesus was not a politician or a political Messiah.
• We shouldn’t be surprised if the candidates are not perfect. No one of us is. But we have to determine which one reflects Jesus and Jesus’ values most and which would be more Christian in genuine behavior, which would care for Jesus in those who have no one else to care for them.
• Abortion issue. There are clear differences. One candidate is for unrestricted access to abortion. This is outrageous.
• These types of principles affect his whole outlook. Can’t be personally opposed and privately in favor. Hypocrisy.
(9) Once Church was powerful. Now no longer. We have to be leaven, but in order to be leaven, we have to vote our faith. Thomas More would have a take.
(10) If we see Jesus in this election and we vote for the clearest approximation of him we can find, then one day before our Heavenly Father he will vote for us and we will hear those words for which our ears were made and see that face for which our eyes were made.