Saturday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Malvern Minute

 

Saturday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

July 4, 2020

Independence Day

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry

 

Book of the Prophet Amos 9:11-15

Psalm 85

Matthew 9:14-17

 

Today is the Fourth of July, a day of parades, fireworks, hot dogs and hamburgers.  But most of all it is a day of celebrating our countries independence; an independence which was won and has been maintained for the past 244 years through the sacrifice of many people and many lives.  We are celebrating an independence that is not absolute.  Adam, the firs man, thought that he had “Absolute Independence” and we are still suffering from the effect of it.  Only God has “Absolute Independence.”  Therefore, our independence is dependent on God.

The dependence on God is clearly stated in our declaration of Independence.  It begins with, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, and that they are endowed by their “creator” with inalienable rights…”  And it ends with, “…with a firm reliance on Divine Providence we pledge our lives, our fortunes and our honor…”

My friends, our nation was founded on belief in God.  The President takes his oath of office by placing his hand on the Bible, the Word of God, and the oath ends with, “So help me God.”  In our Pledge of Allegiance to our flag we say, “One nation under God.”  Engraved on our currency are the words, “In God we trust.”  Our Congress has a chaplain that begins each session with a “prayer.”

Our Founding Fathers may have opted for separation of Church and State but not for separation of God and State.  There is no brotherhood of man without the “Fatherhood of God.”  What the U.S. Constitution guarantees is not freedom FROM religion but freedom OF religion.

On September 11, 2001 the illusion that we were absolutely independent went down in smoke and ashes with the tragic deaths of 2,977 of our fellow citizens at the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and on a field in Pennsylvania.  On that day we fell to our knees and asked God for help.  In doing so many of us realized how far we had wandered from God and from the conviction of our Founding Fathers. 

On July 4, 2012, Archbishop Charles Chaput, former Archbishop of Philadelphia, gave the closing homily at the “Fortnight of Freedom” at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.  His final remarks were:

            “For our Founding Fathers their understanding of God as the author of life and the guarantor of freedom is a message that needs to be re-emphasized in our own day and our own society.  We must not let God be pushed to the margins of American life or be totally removed from the public square.

            We must let our voices be heard in the public square and we must not allow our freedom to practice our faith to be compromised by allowing it to be defined as simply a right to worship God within the confines of a Church building.

            Let us pray that the time will never come in this country when we must choose between being an American and being a Christian.”

May God Bless America and my our faith flourish in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Question of the Day:  How will your prayers reflect on God, who gave us life and liberty, bless us, our nation, and the world with renewed determination to protect these cherished gifts?

Prayer:  Gracious and loving God, let your spirit be with us today.  Hear our prayers, and increase in us the will to follow your Son, our Lord Jesus.  Help us to draw on the resources of our faith as we use the opportunities of our democracy to shape a society more respectful of the life, dignity, and rights of the human person, especially the poor and vulnerable.  We ask through Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.  Amen.

Please continue to pray for the victims of the Coronavirus and for all who are affected by this unprecedented pandemic as well as for peace in our country and in our world.

Prosit

 

 

 

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