Deacon John's Homily

..."BUT.. there is an area where humanity has not advanced at all...This is our injustices toward each other"

Throughout the recorded history of humanity we continue to strive to move ahead. We continue to make new Discoveries that advance ourselves in every field possible.

At first we could only travel as far as our feet could carry us. Now we can go around the world in a day. There was a time our feet were firmly held to the ground. Now, we explore the bottom of the oceans and the vast space outside our atmosphere.

There was a time when education was limited to what we learned through life experiences. Now we have formal education well into our twenties, then a lifetime of continuous education. There was a day that we used a slide rule for advanced mathematics. Now, we talk to a machine to get answers for just about any questions that we may ask.

This only names a few we haven't even hit the areas of science, chemistry, physics, medicine and any other field we can think of.

BUT, and this is a big but, there is an area where humanity has not advanced at all. This is our injustices toward each other. Many people still treat others with very little respect and dignity.

People still kill each other individually and collectively, as a group, a tribe, a state, and a nation. We kill because of religious beliefs, because of power, greed, hatred, revenge, and all sorts of evil and depraved reasons, including just for the fun of it.

We still traffic in human slavery and continue to rape the innocent and young children both male and female.

Many people choose to ignore science when it's convenient or it serves their purpose. So individually and collectively, they do not accept the fact that a human life begins at conception. This enables us. We continue to abort the most innocent of lives because some infants are simply inconvenient.

If we keep our head out of the sand, all of us should realize that in spite of all humanities' advancements, morally and ethically much of humanity has not advanced at all.

Have you ever wondered why?: Why so much of humanity cannot get it right and humanities' inhumanity toward each other stays consistent throughout the ages.

Over the years, I have and I continue to wonder about it. I'll take everything in stride for a while then something will happen that I see on TV or read about that will cause me to once again, earnestly think about it.

How can humanity continually grow in wisdom and knowledge at such a fast pace, yet stay so ignorant concerning our inhumanity towards each other. I also wonder why so many people who seem to have such a sincere respect for the lives of dogs, cats, and other animals, have very little or even no respect for human life.

After spending much time thinking about it, I've come up with what I think is a feasible answer as to why we continue to make new discoveries that advance ourselves in every field possible; yet when it comes to humanities' inhumanity towards each other we make no or very little progress, and at times may even move backwards. I believe it is due to faith and education and the lack of faith and education.

By our very nature, in many areas, we are people of faith. And it is because of this faith that we can advance in so many areas. We have faith in the consistency of creation that everything God set in motion will consistently run according to His creative plan.

It is this faith that gives us the hope to get educated: To study, to learn, to create formulas, and truths in different fields. Then as we use these formulas and truths and come to understand their accuracy and consistency our faith is increased. So humanity has developed a continual circle that passes from one generation to the next.

Our faith in the consistency of nature and our need to educate ourselves as to what these consistencies are enables humanity to continue to advance. All this contributes to humanity, accepting God's gift of faith in our secular life, even if we do not realize it.

We literally spend years studying the physical workings of the human body so we can diagnose the body when it is not working properly. Then we proceed to fix it.

Would we have faith in a doctor who never went to medical school? If a chef at a gourmet restaurant never learned the science of mixing seasonings and cooking food, would we have hope in getting a good meal? If someone never studied Aerodynamics , would we trust the plane they built to get us to our destination?

YET, this circle of faith and education does not appear as often as it should in the area of our treatment of others.

WHY? Because humanity in general does not spend enough time and energy developing this circle of faith and education through the study of Theology; which makes it harder for us to accept God's gift of faith in our spiritual lives.

Theology is a science within itself, with its own truths, its own formulas, and its own consistencies: Such as the Ten Commandments, the two Greatest Commandments that Jesus gives us, the Sermon on the Mount, the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy and much more.

Theology is the study of the nature of God, of the divine, and the study of God's relation with us, humanity, and our relationship with God. And since we are created in the image and likeness of God, theology is also the study of our relationship with each other and ourselves.

The only reason we can study theology is because God continually reveals Himself to humanity:

First, through creation itself. When we study the nature of how things work, we are studying God and developing a faith in his creative abilities so humanity advances.

Second, God revealed Himself to us starting with Abraham and continuing with the Jewish people. This created the roots of our first theological writings and practices.

Then God continued this revelation through His own humanity when Jesus, His son, becomes human. And this revelation will continue through the workings of the Holy Spirit, the continuation of sacred scripture, and all the Christian books written for us, including the lives of the saints.

Yet, the study of theology is not as important in our world of education as it should be. It is not as valued as other topics.

Why does humanity value spending so much time and energy educating themselves concerning the secular world around them, yet does not see the great value in spending as much or more time and energy educating themselves concerning the spiritual world around them?

Possibly it is because the more we learn and advance, the more we feed our egos, pat ourselves on our backs, and think we are now in control; thus, becoming less dependent upon God. Also, new discoveries and advancements usually brings great wealth which we see as a reward for our efforts. Maybe, at times, humanity simply thinks that they do not need God in their lives.

Also, humanity buys into the secular attitude of "What's in it for me" and instant gratification. This is the exact opposite of what we learn when we study theology.

Judeo-Christian Theology is based on the principles of unconditional love and forgiveness and the concept that Jesus, God, came to us to serve not to be served. This translates into a philosophy of life which is: "What's in it for the OTHER person".

All the truths and formulas of Judeo-Christian theology are designed to teach us righteousness not self indulgence. And our God is the Master, and Teacher of righteousness.

The bottom line is we can not advance in the secular world on our own. We allow ourselves to be educated by masters in their field and we have faith in our education so we continue to build upon the past enabling humanity to continue to advance.

Also, we can not change humanities' inhumanity toward our brothers and sisters until humanity values the study of theology more than they value any other subject; and until humanity realizes that they can not do it on their own. We need to be part of a church community, and allow ourselves to be educated by masters in the field of theology. Until humanity has faith in theology that God is the Author of love and relationships and the final Word on what is righteous and what is not.

All this will enable humanity to come to peace with each other and end our inhumanity towards each other.

We need to realize how important a Catholic education is to help improve God's relationship with people and people's relationship with God and others and with themselves.

So when the opportunity arises to support Catholic education; take advantage of it.

Deacon John Navaretta

Sunday, February 24, 2019

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