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The Great Awokening: Weekly Message for 10-19-2021
Today, we consume a steady diet of news, tweets, social media posts, podcasts, and video feeds. We are constantly reminded of what happens when one speaks or acts in a way that goes against the “woke” culture. The Oxford dictionary defines the word ‘woke’ as an adjective describing being alert to injustice in society. In man’s quest to be relevant and mainstream, the word woke has as many definitions as there are people using the term. If one doesn’t like the opinion of another, you are canceled as if your whole life has no meaning.
Gone are the days of St Augustine when verbal debates were seen as educational. St Augustine was trained as an orator. In Greek history, an orator was someone who was trained to speak publicly and with admired eloquence. Today we see eloquence has been laid aside by loud, confrontative, accusatory language. If you don’t agree with the person’s viewpoint in front of you, speak louder and drowned them out.
We may be tempted to think we are living in a unique age. However, one only needs to read the Gospel to see how often the mainstream political and religious powers tried to cancel out the preaching of Jesus.
Story after story we read how Jesus spoke in open fields, small towns, and the banks of the Sea of Galilee. He didn’t debate with the political powers or work to overthrow governments. He met people where they were and shared his message to the people in front of him. He avoided the loud busy platforms and chose places where the words of His Father might be heard.
St John Paul ll challenged the people of America to listen to the voice of God and to “Be not afraid”
How does one hear the voice of God in a world that is so loud? One might suggest we need to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. Turn off social media, the TV and put aside our phones. God has something to say to us and we can’t hear him over the noise of the world. He reminded us that “today man does not know what is within him, in the depths of his mind and heart and because of that he is uncertain about the meaning of his life on this earth.” I love this quote. I have often pondered as I held my children and now grandchildren in my arms, if they will come to know the incredible potential that lies within themselves and each person they will meet as they journey through life. When is the last time you stopped and wondered why you think the way you think, laugh the way you laugh and love the way you love?
We cannot be afraid to hold viewpoints and convictions contrary to public opinion. The Gospel message was as radical 2000 years ago as it is today, and because it is the Living Word of God, it is timeless. The meaning of our lives will not be found celebrated by social media or the five o’clock news. The meaning of our lives is made known to us in the silence of our hearts through prayer and reflection.
Let’s awaken to the eternal justice. Regardless of popular culture, our dignity and worth cannot be canceled by the cacophony of the world. Humanity is made in the image and likeness of God and regardless of the color of our skin or the culture we call our own, we are all God’s children.
Yours in the Heart of Jesus, Donna
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A very timely article. I believe one of the major issues today is to be vaccinated or not. And if you say not, then you are immediately excluded from society and may lose your job or not allowed to go to University or even visit the Vatican. Humanity is made in the image of God regardless of being vaccinated or not!
Thank you for this encouraging reflection.
What is the source of the quote you referenced?
Dear Dorothea, This quote is from St. John Paul II’s inaugural homily. You can see it here: https://www.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/homilies/1978/documents/hf_jp-ii_hom_19781022_inizio-pontificato.html
Hi Heidi—You’re right. No one should be canceled out for what they believe. That’s not Jesus’s way. His way is the loving way. Another perspective to consider is that getting vaccinated is the loving, sacrificial way. It’s giving your independence and you’re”rights” a side-seat and giving of yourself to the common good. That’s an act that is loving because it’s putting others health and wellness and protection above your own desire. Aren’t we called to do the loving act, especially when it means we have to make a sacrifice of our own wants and desires? I respectfully submit this knowing I might be wrong and that I need to keep an open mind. What do you think about the “loving way”. God bless you.