There has been so much talk about the uniqueness and importance of the Presidential Election this year. What caught my attention is the projection about the impact of religious affiliation in the outcome of the election. The Catholic Church in particular has received more attention than any other religious group in recent times. Religious identity has always been the bedrock and a key factor that determines the core values and direction of any society and culture. Thus, a society either leans toward religious and moral values or is secularized and embraces moral relativism. Looking around the world, we see how the dynamic of religion versus secularism is playing out in different societies.
A recent study conducted by Gallup shows that the percentage of Americans who reported belonging to a church, synagogue or mosque or any religion is at an all-time low. The study further indicated that church attendance has dropped more among Catholics than among Protestants. It is no longer news that the largest “denomination” in the United States today are the “NONE,” that is, those who do not affiliate with any religious denomination at all.
Our scripture readings today focus on the theme of God’s invitation to all people to the banquet of the lamb, free of charge. We are told how the first people who were invited did not only reject the invitation but maltreated and killed the prophets. Comparing the parable to our own time, we need to ask ourselves, “how are we different from the people Jesus described in the Gospel today?” Listening to the news, we hear of an increasing rate of Church vandalization and religious intolerance. We have more and more family members, friends and neighbors leaving the faith and embracing secularized ideologies. This calls for more prayers for our nation, especially at this time of the election.
Each time we come to Mass we are honoring the invitation by God to participate in the banquet of the Lamb, the Eucharist. Everyone is invited to this banquet. Let us pray, this weekend in particular, and reflect on how God is calling each one of us to help extend his invitation to our family, friends and those who have stopped practicing their faith. May God use us as his instrument to reach out to them in love and bring them back to the faith.
Thank you and remain blessed,
Fr. JamesBACK TO LIST