Sunday, September 11, 2016

We're Always Both And

By now nearly everyone knows, Hillary Clinton said that some of us are "irredeemable."  I would submit, the candidate for President is correct and yet not.  For she thinks only some of us are irredeemable.

Sitting in mass today, I heard the story of the Prodigal son, of the two sons who both misunderstood the Father's love, and yet both were the beneficiaries.  That is the true reality we face, both as a people and to a person.  I couldn't help but notice all the families struggling with children at the mass. I know this battle, it is a universal one.  This day, my kids kept trading off who would sit next to me, eventually resulting in two sharing a chair, one sharing my lap, and one glommed onto my left shoulder rendering me unable to move. They did in turn each need to go to the bathroom, which gave me a few moments to try and really attend, but I kept seeing the families.

I saw parents trying to hold those they loved more than life itself and pay attention, some having to take their kids back to the cry room, others attempting to tough it out.   They were trying to love with great fervor, squirmy little people who didn't want to obey, didn't want to follow, didn't want to be quiet, didn't want to do anything their parents wanted.  Yet, the parents held them, kissed them, prayed with them and for them, and spent all of their energy on what seemed like a meaningless endeavor to the outside world, trying to help them behave at mass.   They didn't stop loving their misbehaving children, not doing what they wanted, not doing the Father's will.  Some might describe the acting out of these kids all over the mass, as deplorable.   It did not stop the parents love, their children's disobedience.

What we need and don't have and haven't had in some time, is a leader or a person running for leadership, who loves those not voting for the "proper party." Additionally, ideology driven media, celebrities, politicians, social media, and all other means of communication, tend to stir the sense of us, them, and promote hating the other as irrational, unreasonable, uneducated, stupid, crazy, evil, corrupt, awful, sinful, and instantly tainting of anyone who doesn't fit whatever the group think deems appropriate.  I don't hear anyone disagreeing that someone in this country is irredeemable, only disagreeing about who's on the list.

The reality is, we're all on the list.  We are both irredeemable by our limitations and sins, and innately worthy of honor, being made in God's image and thus daughters and sons, heirs to God's kingdom.   We love with great fervor, but often, we throw that fervor into everything else except our neighbors.  So yes, Hillary is right when she says anyone is deplorable.  I am, as is everyone who votes for Trump, Hillary, or anyone else or no one else, anywhere in this world, any time in this world.  We are all broken.  We are all prodigal children who sometime are the older sibling getting mad because there's a party and it wasn't thrown for us to show everyone else how good we are or more accurately, how bad everyone else is by comparison.

We are all, irredeemable or would be, save for that great unfathomable fact, God loves us.  What we have to remember, both as citizens and as individuals, is that great truth, that mysterious truth of God's love for us, is true for all of us, for each of us, at all times. There is no one who is irredeemable save that soul which refuses redemption.  God's mercy is not a safety net, but the hand of the father, reaching out to each of his children, offering grace, divine help, redemption.

We are all both and.  What's great, what's wonderful, is God has invited all of us to the party, where He will show the world how much He loves us.  All we have to do, is be willing to come in to the feast.  

P.S. I saw the parents of the squirmy kids.  They bought their children donuts.

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