To my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, Our Lord:
I hear that you sit in your houses, intentionally avoiding meeting your neighbors. You care more about having the latest smartphone than the well-being of the person living beside you. You store up treasure on earth when the Lord tells us to store up treasure in Heaven.
You judge people on how they look, what they do, and what they drive. You look at the employee behind the Starkbucks counter and consider them below you. You don’t stop to learn the story of why someone works retail, cleans the floors at the public school, or waits tables. You sit there and see someone who is other, someone who is less.
You claim you are a special snowflake, but forget that everyone thinks of themselves as such. Melt already. Join in the common community of the world. Immerse yourselves in the waters of Christ, in the humanity of those around you.
You watch and complain as the world descends into madness. You rally against killing unborn children but not against the fact that a child can easily access pornography. Or that inmates are sentenced to death rather than rehabilitated. We stand by silently judging those who do not fit into the box we have built.
We have forgotten that we are all sinners saved by grace. Myself included. I am no better than anyone of you. In fact, some days, I think I am the worst among all of us. The Lord came to earth and died for our sins, once for all. Not just for the executive who drives a Maserati or the housewife who keeps her home the cleanest on the block. He died for everyone, saint and sinner. He died for the Christian and the non-Christian. For the single mother working two or three jobs just to put food on the table. For the man thrusting himself into another man. For the entire human race, the Lord God humbled himself and died an excruciating death on a cross.
Instead of showing the grace we have received, we lock it away. Instead of proclaiming, “God is Love”, we proclaim, “God Hates (whatever cause/group we’ve currently decided to rally against)”. We sit anonymous behind our computer screens and post whatever we want in comment sections. We care more about how many likes and followers we get than actually interacting with someone in-person. We look at the speck in out brother’s eye without seeing the plank in our own.
We are a society that desperately needs Jesus. I think everyone of you, my brothers and sisters in Christ, can agree with that. Yet, it starts with each of us. We, who are lukewarm, who are sheltering ourselves away from sharing the love that God has given us. We should run to the confessional and receive Reconciliation with our Lord. Regardless of your struggles; whether you’re tempted by lust, pride, envy, laziness, greed, gluttony, or wrath, the Lord is enough for you. Confess your sins, sit before the Lord in the form of the Blessed Sacrament, and receive him, body and blood, fully transfigured in the Eucharist.
Do you not know that every time you receive communion, He enters into you? Or do you not care? Have we become so indifferent to the miracles we see every day?
We see terrible things happen in the world and ask, “God where are you in this tragedy?” He is in us. We, as a body of believers, are His hands, His feet, His eyes. Not all are hands, not all are feet, not all are eyes. Each of us has our own gifts, but we must use them for the glory of Him who made us and gave them to us.
We are His witnesses. We are what an unbelieving world finds unbelievable. If our actions or words deny Jesus, yet we call ourselves Christians, how can we claim to truly know and love Him? That cross around our neck means nothing.
We need to hold our brothers and sisters accountable. When one struggles with temptation, take them aside and pray for them. We are not meant to live alone, to trudge on daily through life in a mire of sin, trapped in a rut. Christ built the Church that we could surround ourselves with people who know what it takes to pull yourself out of the actions and attitudes that separate us from the love of God. We must come together in love and help our brothers and sisters return to righteousness. We must offer ourselves to our brothers and sisters, not just as open to helping them find the way back to God, but as actively seeking Him ourselves. We must hold ourselves accountable and form groups around ourselves to keep us from the snares of sins.
We all, Christian and non-Christian, American and non-American search for love. The search manifests as the college student hopping from bed to bed. As the lonely single perusing a dating website. As the person sitting in the back row of your church. As the beggar, the retail associate, the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. We all had a dream, once. Some put it aside for more practical reasons, like caring for a child or sick parent or because their could not make their dream a reality. It does not matter where we are in life, what we’ve done. We are all children of God. The unborn, the homeless, the criminal, the priest. Each of us has innate worth and we should show respect to all those we meet in our daily lives. Whether it’s the person in line in front of you at the grocery store with a million things and their check has been declined or the mother dragging her screaming kid out of the toy store, the lawyer or the doctor, the politician or the unemployed.
My brothers and sisters, I pray deeply for you. I have seen the devastation sin can cause in my own life and have seen it now in yours. It breaks my heart that we must live in this broken, corrupt world. God has so much better in store for us. Hold on to your faith. Cling to that hope. Share His love.
tl;dr: Remember, folks, God loves you, no matter how terrible you think you are or how small you feel. Jesus died once for all our sins. Remember that when you look upon the face of a neighbor (stranger, family member, friend, acquaintance, etc.) and show that unreserved love to everyone.
Minor explanation of the idea for this post: So, last night with my friends, we wondered what St. Paul’s letter to America might look like, though we agreed it would look a lot like his letters to the Corinthians, I decided to take a stab at it. I probably failed miserably.