- The Abbey of the Genesee - http://www.geneseeabbey.org -

Homily: July 4, 2015

Fr. Eugene Chung, OCSO [1]

13th Saturday in Ordinary Time
Independence Day
Num 6:22-27; Lk 12:15-21

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld, according to a recent newspaper article, got attention a few
weeks ago for saying he understood why other comics such as Chris Rock, another
typical celebrity actor comedian, have stopped performing on campuses beset by
political correctness, trigger warnings and “micro-aggressions.” He said young people
cry “racism,” “sexism,” or “prejudice” without any idea what they are talking about.
This is remarkable because even these typical Hollywood celebrities of “anything goes,”
cannot satisfy these campuses. How did that happen? It happened because weak
school administrators and academics empowered tireless activists who forced all of
American history and life through the three prisms of class, gender, and ethnicity.

These three are Trinitarian sticks of new age by which everything else is measured,
judged and condemned including especially Christianity, and of course the pope’s
approval ratings, too. Could Jesus pass this test? Absolutely not, for Jesus didn’t even
attempt to do anything about them. A slave should obey his master. That’s all he could
say about it. He didn’t even narrow an inch between the Jews and the neighboring
Samaritans just about the distance from Piffard to Dansville. That’s why young people
are leaving Christianity in droves even as the Pope is riding as high as to say “Who am
I to judge?” They see the Church is finally catching up and following them. Translation?
“Good for you Papa. Keep it up.” No one judges; then everyone judges on his own.
The situation is succinctly summed up by the Chief Justice John Roberts, “Just who do
you think we are?”

It’s true that the United States isn’t Christian any longer in any formal religious sense: its
citizens transgress Christianity’s precepts freely. But it’s still Christian in the sense that
the basic teachings of Christianity are in its bloodstream. That’s why Christian moral
teachings are always hot button issues in this country. Even those against Christian
moral teachings are ferocious for their stand because they desperately need some
approval to calm down that bloodstream crying out deep down in their hearts.
Christianity is not a particular agenda-driven propositions, however noble they may
sound, which, ultimately undermine the universality of true Christian values because
they assume no room for the Kingdom of God as in today’s Gospel.

The Time magazine this week already proposed that now is the time to end Tax
Exemption for religious institutions. The Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage
makes it clearer than ever, it argues, that the government shouldn’t subsidize religion.
This is why Cardinal Francis George rings all the more true and prophetic than ever.
Just several months before he would die early this year, he reiterated his sobering
assessment of the Church and the society in general this way, ” I expect to die in
bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in Public
Square.” But this is not the end. He continues, “His successor will pick up the
shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization as the church has
done so often in human history.” That’s exactly what this country has been
best at
all along. And we celebrate just that spirit. So today, not to be just an
idea, we are presented three tracks to choose from based on reality check by
all good Americans, one, “who am I to judge?” Two, “Just who do you think we
are?” and three, “They have no idea what they are talking about.”