A Thanksgiving with Lepers
The Lantern Vol. 33
I have often been amazed when I watch older movies involving leper colonies. I ask myself how could they contain a group of people with a sickness with such a lack of concern for their needs.
Now, I am living in that culture. For decades, we have seen the social conscience of the age become oriented towards selfishness or what many call individualism. Our economy and lifestyles are driven by the quickest way to please ourselves. We carry marketing devices i.e., cell phones that allow us to fill our lives with other people's gossip and order whatever we want at the touch of a button. Right and wrong are no longer reflective of an offense against our Creator but rather an offense against popular culture. A culture that loves itself no matter how much evil it is committing.
You can be demonized for not supporting the murder of a child or for condemning sexual perversions. We talk of tolerance, but demand compliance with popular thoughts or trends.
We enter into this Thanksgiving Holiday with a reminder that God and family are to be left out of the picture.
Thanksgiving is a National Holiday that celebrates God’s gifts to mankind. It is about celebrating all that we have received from God including each other. This season we are told receiving each other as your brother is dangerous.
With a virus attacking society, is this not reasonable?
The question we face in our current culture is what is good, fair, and reasonable to everyone.
In a discussion on the Coronavirus, one question that presents itself is how much individual freedom can be taken from people for the common good. Our society has numerous laws that curtail individual freedoms in the name of the greater good. Yet, our society is de-evolving as a society. Good is being redefined each day to justify our selfish actions. Evil is now good and good is now evil. Our laws are focusing on popular culture rather than God.
If popular culture dictates our form of government then America is lost. The Republic becomes a democracy built on the whims of the latest fad, the latest tik tok.
In discussing this “virus” culture with people I love, “reasonable” seems to be what the discussion is all about.
When discussing church attendance many people think not attending is reasonable, many people including Pope Francis. When I further defend and clarify the position about attending mass I do reach more of a consensus when I point out how little was done to protect religious institutions as compared to lumber and liquor stores.
When we talk about Christianity it is often boiled down to two ideals, two rules. First, love God with every fiber of your being and secondly, love your neighbor as yourself. The question becomes how reasonable is it to love God and neighbor. We seem to have boiled love down to love of self. We argue that we do not go to church because we do not want others to get sick. But do we go to church when no one else is there? Then, we do not visit the sick because….? Priests do not go out and give the sacraments because…?
If Dominos delivers because it is necessary, then maybe priests should deliver the Eucharist to every household as well? Not reasonable you say? If not, maybe only the households who place an order. Maybe God would be more relevant more convenient if we had we had an app for the sacraments?
We seem to put rule number one against rule number two. If we love God then he is in charge of a virus, He is in charge of our lives. Our lives are His and we should not be afraid. Hmmm, "Do not be afraid," this sounds familiar.
Rather, we have taken the position to "be afraid," because everyone could be a leper. Our society has embraced a false faith to protect us first because in its eyes God is not capable of this. We love ourselves first, then our neighbors, and then God.
In a time where we should be running to God and then to neighbor we are told to self isolate.
In all of our discussions about how we handled or will handle the virus, God has not even been considered as important. But what if we learned this virus was in part a consequence of turning away from Him? Perhaps all of our measures to isolate from Him and each other are only making this worse. Science supports this in part. Many scientists argue we are avoiding a herd immunity which must happen for this virus come to a conclusion. To take the secular response one more step, this Thanksgiving we are told to even avoid the family. The family, in this current society, can be a source of poison and our love cannot even extend to them.
For myself and my family I am not going to avoid those I love even if it is to save my own life.
My life must be a public witness to the belief that God is my Father and he both guides and owns my life, my soul.
I love all of His gifts and I see his love in all of you I have ever known. I see that special soul that belongs to my Father, and I am reminded of the true meaning of Thanksgiving.
I will have Thanksgiving with any and all who need my love and friendship. I will eat, live and love with these lepers of society. My hope is not in an anti-virus, but in an all loving God. Yes, I am bold enough to say please, pass the potatoes and you don't have to wash your hands.