|Christ Healing the Blind Man by Carl Bloch|
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The last three weeks of the Church's year deal with the last things, the apocalypse and summon us to reflect clearly upon the end of our own lives. When we read apocalyptic literature, like the book of the Apocalypse, Daniel, or even the Macabees that we hear from in the Mass readings for today, there are three viewpoints of interpretation that we want to take in mind: the past event, the future event, and the present distress identified by with the associations of history or rich symbolology.
It is clear that the apostasy that the book of the Macabees talks about is a historical fact. It actually happened. Also it is clear that some apostasy must happen in the world and the Church before the Lord Jesus returns again in glory. What we are most concerned about is the present apostasy that we are living in. Pope Pius XII pointed out the beginnings of an apostasy in Christian culture. He said in Summi Maeroris, that there are governments
who trample under foot the sacred rights of the Catholic Church. They forbid her ministers the free exercise of religious worship. They even condemn them to exile and to prison. They impede or directly proscribe and destroy schools and institutes of education which are conducted according to Christian norms and principles. Through errors, calumnies and every kind of indecency, they draw the people, especially the tender youth, away from integrity of morals, from virtue and innocence, to the allurements of vice and corruption.This was 60 years ago. Today it is much worse because people are not even capable of acknowledging that there is something wrong. The darkness is so deep they do not even know what light looks like. Is it normal for hundreds of thousands of babies to be aborted, for 50% of Catholic marriages to end in divorce, to even think that you can call marriage the union of two men, to play with human embryos like legos, or to toy with idea of cloning human persons? We must call this what it is: EVIL. To not do so constitutes a deeper evil, a moral and cultural blindness.
The Church appears in our age like this blind man in the Gospel, crying out in the midst of a blinded and apostate generation, amidst entire generations of Catholics who have little or no catechesis on the most basic tenets of the faith and have also become morally blind, "JESUS, SON OF DAVID, HAVE PITY ON ME!!!" We cry out in the name of the Church to Jesus to free the Church and man of apostasy and error.
In the face of such deep blindness there is a temptation to despair, but we also learn from the apocalyptic literature of the Bible, the important lesson of history: Jesus Christ is Lord of history. God is the protagonist in the drama of salvation. God is God and God will be God and God will save those who cry out to him in faith. We must hear amidst our blindness Jesus speak to the Church, "Have sight; your faith has saved you." If we don't strain the ears of faith to hear this, we will not enter into authentic Christian hope founded upon the Savior and all sorts of funny reactions take hold of the human heart: conspiracy theories, escapism, or a fatalistic overdramatic interpretation of history.
We proclaim today again the Good News of our Salvation. We cry out with our memorial acclamation at Mass:
Save us Savior of the world, for by your Cross and Resurrection you redeemed the world.