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Celebrate the Foundations of Our Country

Jul 1

Written by:
7/1/2018 5:40 PM  RssIcon

This week, we celebrate the foundations of our country and ask, once again, for God’s blessings to be bestowed upon this great country of ours. As I look at the increasing rhetoric in our country, I ponder on what once made this country so unique and what will return us to that place as well.

During the weekday Masses recently, we have been reading from the historical books of the Old Testament, including First and Second Samuel, which tell of the first three kings of Israel: Saul, David and Samuel, and from the First and Second Books of Kings, which tell of their lineage down through the two kingdoms of Israel and Judah, the divided monarchies. As you read through these historical narratives, you start to recognize something important. Whenever there was a king in Israel or Judah who was humble and close to the Lord, the kingdom flourished. But when the king was worldly, more concerned with his political power and intrigue, making peace through political treaties and intermarriages; the kingdom suffered; even to the point of being destroyed, as was the case of the northern kingdom of Israel.

As I look through this lens of historical theology, I then turn and look towards our beloved country. I think of the presidents who are routinely considered to be the best presidents in our history, and I see a similar parallel. A list published by Business Insider ranked the top five presidents as follow: Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Teddy Roosevelt and Thomas Jefferson.

A few things strike me as I ponder this list: these are men from across the political spectrum; they are men who served at key moments in the history of our country and rose to the challenges presented to them; while some were certainly considered brash by the standard of their day, they are also marked by a certain sense of humility and responsibility to the office which they held; and finally, they made tough decisions with an eye towards what was truly best for our country, not personally.

Perhaps that last point is what I ponder the most: how do I act locally with an eye towards what is best either globally or nationally? How do I act not with my own best interest at heart, but with the best interest for the ‘common good’ of all society? There is a humility that marks all the great ones in our society. They embrace the responsibility laid before them, do the best that they can do at that moment, and then pass the mantle on to another.

And humility opens the door for God to enter the heart, and perhaps that is one item that connects those great kings of Israel with the great leaders of our country and to our responsibility in the modern day. I pray, daily, for our country, that God will make us great again and unite us all in a single purpose of working to build a city on earth that reflects His glorious city in heaven. As we celebrate our nation’s anniversary, may God truly pour out his blessings on us all.

God Bless,

Fr. Kyle Schnippel

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Re: Why do we place a white pall on the casket of the deceased at funeral Masses?
I have been wondering about that. Thank you for explaining it.

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