In His Light: Is the final hour upon us?

September 18, 2012

"Brothers and sisters: Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were sealed for the day of redemption. All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting and reviling must be removed from you, along with all malice. And be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ. So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma." -Ephesians 4:30-5:2

People are always questioning me on how I arrive at the themes for my homilies and columns. In all honesty, many times it is just from watching a television program, a news broadcast or listening to a song. However, as strange as it may appear, the majority of my themes come to me while I am in the shower! For most of us this is the only time in our hurried day when we are totally by ourselves with our thoughts, so the shower has become my refuge for meditation, prayer and inspiration. However, this column I must "confess" (no pun intended) came to me while fulfilling my "penance." My confessor instructed me to meditate on the second reading for that particular Sunday (in bold). 

While praying the passage, scenes from the Colorado movie theatre carnage and the massacre of Sunday worshippers at the Sikh Temple in Wisconsin fast forwarded through my subconscious while sitting there in the peaceful and glorious surroundings of the Blessed Sacrament. Many of us would include to this litany of wickedness: abortion, capital punishment and euthanasia. The blessed apostle Paul in his writing to the Ephesians (and us) speaks of a life that is one with God. Through Jesus Christ we live in unity with God. We are to rid ourselves of bitterness, anger, slander so not to grieve the Holy Spirit. God wants to fill us with His love in Christ so that we can love one another. That is a beautiful and meaningful portrait painted by Saint Paul; however, it appears we are not taking the holy disciple's teaching to heart! There are voices among us who are professing that America's greatest days are still ahead of her, while others have written, printed and distributed her obituary. 

We have truly encountered some very tragic and catastrophic events recently in our nation, and to compound our surroundings in the coming weeks, we are going to come face to face with countless incendiary and grievous claims and assertions leading up to the national election! Are we going to take the holy words from St. Paul to heart, "All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting and reviling must be removed from you, along with all malice," or will we continue on this path of self-destruction and outrage? Beloved, let us begin at this very hour, before the final hour is upon us and pray that our endearing Prince of Peace will look lovingly and mercifully upon our nation and in these upcoming contemptuous days may our Divine Creator continue to keep us in His light. 

Deacon Leonard Paul Lockett is the Archdiocesan Vicar for Catholics of African Descent.