“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in good time we shall reap if we do not grow weary.” (Galatians 6:7-9).
You hear it all the time. “You reap what you sow.” It is a warning for us to not waste our lives chasing after earthly desires and satisfactions of the body. It is a reminder that we are to spend our moments of time gearing ourselves towards our eternal life. It is a message that is often spoken of in the Bible… we must spend our time on godly things… we must raise our children in godly ways or we will find that we have squandered our treasure and that we have raised them for the world. Regrettably, we will find that we have foolishly frittered away what the Lord had entrusted to us, and that my friends, is not where we want to be.
Even though many of us have never had to rely on growing our own food or laboring hours in the soil for what we eat, we all still get the idea of what is meant by ‘reaping and sowing.’ But we still fail to apply this message to our daily lives. We are wasteful with our time. We are careless with our talents and our treasures…( I know…it sounds so cliche…) But as Catholics…as Christians… we need to be careful where our priorities lie. We need to make sure that we are planning for our future and not just squandering away this gift that has been given to us by the Lord.
As the abuse scandal continues to scream at us from the headlines, we have found that many who were in positions of authority in the Church have been sowing in the flesh… they have been reaping in corruption.. They have been unwise as they ‘tended’ to their gardens and now they are reaping the rotted fruits of destruction. As lay members of the Catholic Church… we are also reaping what has been sown. We are left trying to gather the fragments of our trust that has been shattered…We are also left trying to rebuild our families. Even those families who were not affected directly by the scandal and the abuse, have been affected.
Think about it. Not only did the priests, bishops, and cardinals damage the Church with their abuse and their cover up, they damaged the Faith by not instructing the Faithful in the Truth. They have failed to sow in the Spirit… they have failed to instruct their flocks in the Faith… that deposit of Truth that faithful men should cling to, has been erased in many parishes… That image of the Immaculate Bride of Christ… the Holy Church… has been tainted… it has been frayed. Just what kind of life line is that, when having to survive in this cold cruel world?
How did we not see that all the little ‘tiny’ abuses that were occurring over the past several years would not lead to this? Why did we keep ignoring all the red flags that kept popping up? Why is it so hard for us to believe?…Well for one thing, when men are engaged in sinful behaviors they are more likely to accept the lies… they are more likely not to look too deeply for the Truth, and those in ecclesiastical roles, well, they will be the ones who fail to preach the Truth from the pulpit. In order to cover their crimes they will knowingly… willfully, work against the Lord… all under the guise of niceness and acceptance.
But it is not just an episcopal problem. It is a family problem. It is a problem with good families… particularly the men of such families, not doing what is right, not doing what is just. But the women don’t get off either… it is also a problem with the mothers. Those who ignore the words of St. Paul… those who ignore their proper place in the family. We all know that we could do more… We have allowed ourselves to be lazy… Now whether we want to admit it or not is a whole other story… We have all let our pride get the best of us. We have let ourselves be led by our desires, particularly those of the flesh, and we have been backed into this black hole of a world, that has robbed our families of their innocence. The world is a thief that has robbed many a family of their good and holy men and women.
We have become so preoccupied living for ourselves that we have managed to raise an entire generation that has placed their miserable selves on the pedestal that belongs to God. An interesting thing about humans… we are all created in the image and likeness of God. Created by His fine hand to worship Him…to love Him and to serve Him. It is a apart of our innate being. And when we remove God from the equation…we still have that need…that desire to worship something…and most of us are so stained by our original sin that we turn that worship towards self. We have raised our families in the void of Truth and now look what we are left with… Now, who are we to blame??
Or sure, most of us are younger than the average age of these corrupt priests and bishops and cardinals who infiltrated the Church years ago…but what about us? What about you? Are we pure and holy? Or are we corrupt. Do we strive for holiness in our every day.. in our every moment of every day? I know we are sinners and we are marked with the same stain of sin…but we mustn’t use it as an excuse…we mustn’t use it as a cover up.
I know each of us has heard something, somewhere, that so and so priest was doing or had done. Something clearly that worked against God, that was against the Truth and what have we done? Made excuses? What about our grown children who are actively working against the Will of God. Have we spoken up? Have we tried to point them to the straight and narrow? Have we sacrificed and prayed? I’m afraid not.
Most of us spend our lives pretending that we are something that we are not. We pretend that we are strong and courageous but when it matters…when it really matters… When it is a situation between eternal life or eternal damnation…we shut our trap. We look the other way. We shake our head in disbelief but we do nothing. We are cowards. Raising cowardly unholy children who don’t even know the difference between the lies and the Truth. We are raising a generation of men and women who not only don’t know the Truth…but they deny it as well. They just Don’t Care. And what do we do? We ‘like’ their posts on Facebook. We say we don’t agree but we fail to tell them what they are doing is wrong. We are more afraid of losing our familiar relations than losing God. We are more concerned with the here and now than the eternal hereafter. Heaven or hell. We are choosing our path. We are allowing those immersed in sin to seal their fate. We must speak up. We must stand up to the cultural tide that is sweeping everyone into the giant cesspool of sin. We must pray and ask God for His guidance… We mustn’t rely on what we think is right, because more often than not We Will Take the Easy Way Out….We will just be glad and thank God that our homosexual child is not doing drugs. Or that they aren’t killing anyone…. But Oh, they are…they are.
We have got to train our children for God. They are His children, entrusted to us. What will we do with this treasure the Lord has bestowed upon us? ‘To one who much has been given, much more will be expected in return’… Even in homes without children, we are still responsible for building up our domestic church. This is where we ( parents) are the shepherds of our flocks. We have a job to do. We have got to start recognizing the wolves from the sheep… and separating them as such.
We live in a society that slaughters our children before our very eyes and we do nothing… I ask you, where is the outrage over that?! Oh, you are outraged? But still you do nothing… We have all got to realize that if we are not part of the solution we are part of the problem. Sure we may not have created the abuse in the Church…we may not have perpetrated the crimes but by allowing our Churches to lose focus…to lose it’s voice as “all things for Christ“, we have in our subtle and not too subtle ways, contributed to this scandal. We have taken our eyes from Christ and we have distorted our vision of the Lord.
This cleansing of the Church has got to come from God. In order to participate in this cleansing, we must first seek God’s mercy… we must seek His forgiveness. We must make reparations for our own sins. And then, when we have removed the splinter that blinds our own eye, we can work to restore all that belongs to Christ. We must pray and call upon Him to pour His grace upon all who are the Church, that we may once again be the visible sign of holiness on earth. We must unite ourselves to His Holy Will… unite ourselves to His sacrifice… His sufferings. It is time for Catholic families everywhere to stop accepting the lies as Truth. We have got to stop allowing our families to become so consumed with the material aspects of this present world that we forget our path is one lived in Faith… dictated by the Truth so that we may focus our energies on the reality of our eternal life with God… with Christ.