Tuesday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time Lectionary: 414 Reading 1 EZ 2:8—3:4 The Lord GOD said to me: As for you, son of man, obey me when I speak to you: be not rebellious like this house of rebellion, but open your mouth and eat what I shall give you. It was then I saw a hand stretched out to me, in which was a written scroll which he unrolled before me. It was covered with writing front and back, and written on it was: Lamentation and wailing and woe! He said to me: Son of man, eat what is before you; eat this scroll, then go, speak to the house of Israel. So I opened my mouth and he gave me the scroll to eat. Son of man, he then said to me, feed your belly and fill your stomach with this scroll I am giving you. I ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth. He said: Son of man, go now to the house of Israel, and speak my words to them. Responsorial Psalm PS 119:14, 24, 72, 103, 111, 131 R. (103a) How sweet to my taste is your promise! In the way of your decrees I rejoice, as much as in all riches. R. How sweet to my taste is your promise! Yes, your decrees are my delight; they are my counselors. R. How sweet to my taste is your promise! The law of your mouth is to me more precious than thousands of gold and silver pieces. R. How sweet to my taste is your promise! How sweet to my palate are your promises, sweeter than honey to my mouth! R. How sweet to my taste is your promise! Your decrees are my inheritance forever; the joy of my heart they are. R. How sweet to my taste is your promise! I gasp with open mouth, in my yearning for your commands. R. How sweet to my taste is your promise! Alleluia MT 11:29AB R. Alleluia, alleluia. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart. R. Alleluia, alleluia. Gospel MT 18:1-5, 10, 12-14 The disciples approached Jesus and said, “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?” He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me. “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father. What is your opinion? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray? And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not stray. In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost.” Homily - Deacon Bill Gallerizzo - Tuesday of 19th Week in Ordinary Time. The political climate of our time is one of the most intense in the history of our nation. Many things we took for granted, things we thought were givens within the Amercan social and political frameworks, are being challenged with great force. We are seeing history develop right before our eyes, and sometimes it is scary. It is easy to think that, like Ezechial, the scroll of lamentation, of wailing, and of woe is being presented right before our eyes, and although we have not quite eaten it yet, its odor is wafting to our nostrils. We can listen to the rhetoric and jump into the foray, take forceful sides, try to influence the thinking of others through countermanding and interpretive opinion, or we can set our sights on the will of God as Christ gives it to us. How well are the candidates aligned with God's Natural Law? Like Ezechial, we have to accept it and then move onward to embrace God's goodness. Because we ascribe to Judeo-Christian principles, we'd like to think our nation was founded on them due to the similarity. But our nation was NOT. Rather, our nation was founded on something far older, something foundational to man's law, God's Natural Law. The Declaration of Independence talks of aligning ourselves as a nation with the Laws of Nature and Nature's God. So the real issue at stake is God's Natural Law, and our ability to follow the law that God implanted in us for proper living within His Word. Over the course of human life, men in different places have listened a bit differently. Hence, not all have heard the call to follow Christ. And that has to be respected. There is a universal understanding of what is moral and acceptable. The intricacies are the differences, but the basics are the same. In the course of what is presented before us, like Ezechial, to follow God, we have to gravitate to the good, not the bad that we see around us. The only way that can be effectively done is to place God and the Natural Law He has given us, as the priority. Personal autonomy, animosity, hatred, disregard for the dignity of the individual, taking advantage of the disadvantage of others have no place in God's Natural Law. Enacting legislation that destroys selective demands that are contrary to Natural Law, and that enhance the ability of others to live by it in harmony with all others have the ideal place in God's natural plan and process for all of us. The things of man are for the most part constructive if they accept, support, and promote God's message to us, to love HIm and to love all others as we love ourselves. This is the Christ's timeless message of God's goodness; like God the Creator of everything, it is unchangeable. When we form the things of man by means of the things of God, there is no losing for any of us. The things of God are always superior to the things of man, no matter what is legal, what is delegated by governments, or whatever anyone tries to pass off as truth. Only in the things and ways of God can we find absolute truth, and in the ways Christ defines for us can we reach true salvation and eternal life. That is far more important than anything else; to place our confidence and trust in Christ. When we are faced with the upcoming election race, to see where candidates most align themselves with Christ and what He has taught us of the Father is more critical than the candidates, the parties, or the press suppose. What is proposed to be gained in secular greatness, or material wealth, or hoisting oneself over others, or degrading others who look or worship God differently within His Natural Law, is not in God's best interest and ultimately neither in ours. When each of us meet Him we will be asked what we have done to show His love to all others, not just those we selectively choose, and what we have done to support that process. The best political and moral decision we can make is to vote in conjunction with what we see as the best alignment with God's Natural Law that is presented before us. It will not be perfect. Nothing humans do is perfect. For God's Natural Law to be best represented by those who lead us, we must place our support behind leadership that has aligned itself most with God's Natural Law, as well as circumstances dictate; the circumstances which best show acceptance of all others as His children, by not only by words, but more importantly by deeds and actions, particularly of those who we choose to lead us and to represent us to the rest of the world.