Presidential Elections, Culture and the Church
Devotional & Discussion thought of the day:
1 I mean that as long as the heir is not of age,* he is no different from a slave, although he is the owner of everything, 2 but he is under the supervision of guardians and administrators until the date set by his father. 3 aIn the same way we also, when we were not of age, were enslaved to the elemental powers of the world.* 4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,b 5 to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption.c 6 As proof that you are children,* God sent the spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”d 7 So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God. New American Bible. Revised Edition. Galatians 4:1-7
The history into which Jesus enters is a quite ordinary history, marked by all the scandals and ignominy that are inherent in humanity, all the advances and good beginnings, but also all the sinfulness and baseness—a totally human history!… We may ask: Is this the context into which the Son of God could be born? Holy Scripture answers: Yes. But all this is meant as a sign for us. The Incarnation of God does not result from an ascent on the part of the human race but from a descent on the part of God. The ascent of mankind: the attempt to bring God forth by one’s own efforts and to attain the status of superman—long ago in paradise this attempt failed utterly. One who wants to become God by his own efforts, who reaches arbitrarily for the stars, always ends by destroying himself.…
58. There are many ties between the message of salvation and human culture. For God, revealing Himself to His people to the extent of a full manifestation of Himself in His Incarnate Son, has spoken according to the culture proper to each epoch.
Likewise the Church, living in various circumstances in the course of time, has used the discoveries of different cultures so that in her preaching she might spread and explain the message of Christ to all nations, that she might examine it and more deeply understand it, that she might give it better expression in liturgical celebration and in the varied life of the community of the faithful.
In writing this post, perhaps I go where angels fear to tread.
Entering the place where politics, religion and culture interact, in that place we called life.
There is a part of me that wants to flee from any political conversation; there is another part of me that wants to call out those who are acting contrary to their relationship with God, as they criticize that candidate, or defend this candidate. For what good is it if “our” party gains the majority in Congress or the Presidency, but in the process we lose our soul, we neglect salvation, we turn our back on God?
In my devotional reading today, three times I come across the same answer.
Jesus comes to us, as we are, in our brokenness, in our broken world. As when He was born of Mary, the leadership of the world isn’t righteous, and our culture is challenged. Our nation is so immersed in immorality that we don’t even see it affecting our lives.
Instead of struggling like a man drowning, I need to see Christ here, descending to us, coming to rescue us who try to reach for the stars, or think we’ve arrived among them.
This Christ, who descended once to be crucified, is still here, (see Matt 28:20) reaching out to us who are drowning, reaching the world through the people among whom He dwells. Reaching out in every cultural context, reaching out to those paralyzed by anxiety, by doubt, by a distinct lack of hope.
Ultimately the answer is not going to be found in November, but in what we know and celebrate in Advent, as we look for hope, as we anticipate what God has promised, that we will dwell with Him, that we do dwell with Him, that we can cry out Abba!
And here His voice calm us, give us hope, and freedom as He softly says, “I am here! Do not be anxious… I with you.
Ratzinger, Joseph. Co-Workers of the Truth: Meditations for Every Day of the Year. Ed. Irene Grassl. Trans. Mary Frances McCarthy and Lothar Krauth. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1992. Print.
Catholic Church. “Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World: Gaudium Et Spes.” Vatican II Documents. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2011. Print.
Posted on October 10, 2016, in Devotions, Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI and tagged Ethics, faith, hope, morality, politics, practicing the presence of God. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.