After hearing St. John the Baptist proclaim “Prepare the way of the Lord,” some people, soldiers and tax collectors received his baptism of repentance and asked, “What must we do?”
St. John the Baptist did not ask the soldiers to stop being soldiers, but rather to be good soldiers by following God’s truth and defending his justice and mercy.
As soldiers of Christ we must know who we are fight-ing against and for whom we are fighting. We are fighting against three opponents: our own selfishness, the broken world and Satan. We are fighting for God’s glory and the dignity of every human being, especially the weakest. We do this peaceably with God’s grace, which flows from our Baptism and by receiving the Holy Eucharist worthily.
“What must I do?” to overcome selfishness. John the Baptist replied: If you have two coats, give to the one who has none. Become generous with your time, talent and treasure.
Mary Jo Copeland heard the answer. She is a Catholic lay woman who helped poor families by volunteer-ing at Catholic Charities. She was led by the Holy Spirit (received at her Baptism and fully strengthened at her Confirmation) to found “Sharing and Caring Hands”. Through her prayers and actions, she has helped over 20,000 needy people.
She is a prayer warrior and peacefully advocates for the dignity of the poor. Her organization relies on private donations and not on government or the United Way, because these entities at this time sup-port abortion. If any organization’s mission does not correspond to the Lord’s mission, it is part of the bro-ken world and needs to be transformed.
“What must we do?” John the Baptizer tells the tax collectors not to collect taxes for their selfish gain. The Declaration of Independence presents this same theme. The Constitution of the United States of America also limits the size of government and thus taxation, so that God and families can stay at the center of our Judeo/Christian culture of life.
In the Declaration of Independence we read about the “Laws of nature, and of nature’s God”, since God creates every human with equal dignity and is the giver of our unalienable rights of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”, in that order. Our natural rights come directly from God and not from the government.
We need to overcome our greatest opponent, Satan, with God’s supernatural grace and the law of reason.
I read how Satan has seduced some people to form The Satanic Temple. In response to the prolife movement’s recent victories, especially the Texas Heartbeat Law, their leadership is encouraging any member “who resides in Texas and wishes to undergo the Satanic Abortion Ritual within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy to contact The Satanic Temple [to] help them fight this law directly.” This is evil. Pray for the conversion of these people.
Legalized abortion is deadly tragic, but we know that God can free our nation and state from this evil deception and bring healing through organizations like Rachel’s Vineyard, which provides those effected by abortion a retreat of reconciliation, peace and the support to not sin again. This retreat is supported by all of us who give to our Archdiocese Catholic Service Appeal Foundation. The CSAF also helps pro-vide 12,000 people fresh groceries and hygiene items weekly, 1,200 hot meals monthly, and 1,300 women and children receive pro-life support.
“What must we do?” Baptized into Jesus Christ, we must follow him daily, and listen to God’s true prophets to advance God’s Kingdom of life, love and justice. Then, the true meaning of Christmas will motivate and fashion our lives for the glory of God and the salvation of the human family. Rejoice! Be-cause the Lord is near, and he rewards his faithful followers with true love and joyful peace.
Peace in Christ,
Fr. Thomas McCabe