Monday, 28 September 2015

27th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year B

Genesis 2:18-24; Hebrews 2:9-11; Mark 10:2-16
When I took charge of my Volkswagen Golf in 2010 I was warned not to forget that it was diesel powered and not to accidentally fill up with Super. So far I have succeeded. However, on day I was filling up and the man at the pump in front of me suddenly stopped the pump and moaned ‘Oh, no, no, no, no, NO!’
The irritation in that man’s voice was made up not only of the inconvenience he knew lay before him in pumping out the tank of his new car, but also of the sting of having to learn a lesson he already knew: diesel engines are not compatible with ULP. The irony of this truth is that Mr Volkswagen has gone to some effort to write it on the petrol cap in clear, unmistakeable letters.
A motor mechanic, however, reads another language. He reads the clear, unmistakeable letters written into the motor itself, into how it is put together by the manufacturer. Actually, to use a banal simile, it is not unlike how parents know their newborn is a boy or girl. Our sex is written 'into' the way we are put together.
This being the case, what are we to make of the modern tendency to define sex by how we feel. He is born biologically as a boy but he says he ‘feels’ like a girl. She is born biologically female but she says she feels like a boy. The question therefore poses itself: Is he or she really a girl or a boy? What actually determines our sex? Can our feelings override our biology?
Apparently for some the answer is yes, and so they attempt to bring their biology into harmony with their feelings by undertaking surgical procedures. This, of course, is only ‘apparently’ successful because it seems that somehow our biological sex lies beyond the reach of the scalpel, however sharp. Besides, feelings are notorious for the way they change. What feels right one day feels absolutely wrong the next.
Further questions arise when a person of a ‘surgically reassigned gender’ demands of society that they be treated in accordance with the gender they have ‘chosen’ according to their feelings. Here it may be a question as simple as which washrooms or dressing rooms they are entitled to use? What’s more, can it be said that those who object to this are unfair or discriminating? Are there any limits to the demands an individual (or a minority) can make on the social order as a whole?
These are all huge questions and our Western society, having no desire to share the Christian answers, condemns itself to having to struggle with them only in a legal framework. And if this is done without due regard to the rights of both parties, the law of the land can find itself in irreconcilable opposition to the law written in the hearts of its citizens. I believe we are well on the road to this scenario in our own country.
A school principal once said to me, ‘Don’t worry about these laws too much. The vast majority of humanity will never come to believe, at least not for very long, that a man can marry a man, whatever the law may say.’ This is profoundly true.
It may be that a tidal wave of silliness can wash over a society, or even the whole world, but the day will come when reality and truth and common sense return to reassert themselves and then, I believe, will come a nasty backlash of recrimination and anger which will overthrow the politically correct in favour of the eternally true. Then, as the pendulum swings back, it will once again be the turn of the homosexual community to suffer the unjust discrimination which has pursued it throughout history, all because they overreached themselves and required ‘marriage equality’ – more than truth and justice could give them.
There is a kind of burgeoning rage which is already palpable in Western society as the law of the land distances itself from the law written in human hearts. If our leaders don’t desist, if they continue to take society to a place beyond the limits of natural law they will unavoidably plunge us into confusion, division and conflict.
Once made it is intended that laws be kept. Those who break the law are required by law to be punished. If the laws are such that larger and larger numbers of citizens are required by their conscience to break the law – what do you think will happen? Those who know their ancient and modern history will readily know.
Let me conclude with a quote from Saint John Paul II’s bicentennial talk given in the United States when he was still Cardinal Karol Wojtyla of Krak√≥w, Poland
We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel. We must be prepared to undergo great trials in the not-too-distant future; trials that will require us to be ready to give up even our lives, and a total gift of self to Christ and for Christ. Through your prayers and mine, it is possible to alleviate this tribulation, but it is no longer possible to avert it. . . .How many times has the renewal of the Church been brought about in blood! It will not be different this time.

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