The woman in today's Gospel reading who had been possessed, drained, and stooped for eighteen years may represent the American Church. In the Catholic community, we have been drained of vocations to the priesthood and the religious life, drained of almost a generation of young people, and drained of faith through compromise with our secularized and materialistic culture.
As is customary in situations of bondage, we have denied the reality of the problem and thereby prolonged it. Instead of admitting there's something seriously wrong, we use euphemisms, such as "merger," "restructuring," and "transitions" in place of "close-down," "salvaging," and "deterioration."
Also, as with the synagogue of Jesus' day, there is something inside us that resents being set free (Lk 13:14). We know that freedom implies giving up our sinful ways, and so we clutch sin and hold on for dear death. We are in an adulterous relationship with the world.
"Make no mistake about this: no fornicator, no unclean or lustful person — in effect an idolater — has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with worthless arguments" (Eph 5:5-6). We must admit we have a problem, recognize disobedience as the way by which the devil has entered, and repent of our sins. Jesus wants to release us from our shackles, if we only let Him (Lk 13:16).
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from October 1, 2012 through November 30, 2012.
†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 10, 2012.