A Message of Hope, to Have the Courage & Strength to Resist the Powers of Evil!
Anonymous Priest | Advent Sermon
John is the voice crying in the desert: "Make straight the way of the Lord!"
Brethren in Christ our eagerly awaited Redeemer,
Behold the last week of Advent, of that Sacred Season given to us to prepare our hearts for the coming of our Savior – and how blessed we are to be gathered at the altar to worship God in the Holy Sacrifice of Mass of All Time – the Holy Mass which unites us with the time of the apostles, martyrs and legions of saints across the ages; the Holy Mass which in the words of many popes constitutes the greatest treasure of the Holy Catholic Church – and yet, in these times of diabolical disorientation as prophesied at Fatima, that Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is under attack by the forces of evil, that want to condemn it to extinction.
The hearts of faithful Catholics can only bleed at what is happening in the Church–at that veritable war unleashed upon Traditional Catholic Faith and Liturgy, in the name of creating a new church – born of the revolution of the 1960s – a church that would accommodate itself to the world and “go with the times.” In this somber moment we must remember St. Paul’s exhortation that the evil we are facing is not of flesh and blood, but of Principalities and Powers of hell itself, and so we must put on the armor of God!
This is an hour of challenge to our faith and courage.
It is so propitious therefore that today, the Gospel presents to us the great figure of Advent – John the Baptist, whom Christ the Lord called “more than a prophet” – “the greatest among those born of women.” God’s word compels us to look again at John so as to learn from his life and imitate his virtues. For John was called to serve in highly dramatic times, and his role as a prophet – witness to the coming Savior, challenged him in the extreme, and he proved to be worthy of his call, by displaying outstanding virtues that inspire us today.
In our previous meditation we have looked at his outstanding virtues which we must imitate: humility and fidelity to the truth. Today, the Gospel pericope presents John again, compelling us to look at him as a courageous enemy of evil – for this virtue is so important for us in this time of darkness enveloping the world and the Church. In the world today evil is not only tolerated but outright encouraged; and tragically, even among the shepherds voices are heard that the Church should change her moral doctrine to conform to the spirit of the times and stop insisting on the truth of the Catholic Faith and God’s Commandments.
In our times of “false mercy” whereby no evil is to be condemned; everything is to be permitted, and nobody’s feelings hurt–the figure of John the Baptist is titanic indeed. He reminds us that truth is the highest value which must be defended even at the cost of one’s life – for what is life worth without truth? In the Scripture John often speaks with the words of Isaiah – the messianic prophet who foretold that a voice would be sent crying in the desert to prepare the way of the Lord.
John knew Isaiah’s piercing warning, we’d better heed in our times: “Woe to those who call evil - good and good – evil! Woe to those who take darkness for light, and light for darkness.” This is why John the Baptist was a man of courage in confronting evil without any compromises! Knowing that he would pay for it with his life, John stood before the immoral king Herod and told him in his face: “you must not live with your brother’s wife!”
In these last days of Advent, we are compelled to look at ourselves and ask whether we have such courage to oppose evil, or because of fear or desire for comfort.
We have embraced the lies of this world and go along with the grand deception of our culture which calls evil good, and good evil! For this is the cause of the dramatic state of our society and our Church! The nihilistic culture of secularism and political correctness feeds us lies calling them truth, and people by and large go along with it.
Even Church shepherds for the most part have no courage to oppose the culture, but are tempted to go with “the spirit of the world” in the name of humanitarianism and the progressive agenda. Politicians and celebrities living immoral lives; those openly supporting perversions, abortion and euthanasia are not chastised and warned of punishment in hell if unrepented, but are even supported as “nice people” and “good Catholics.”
This is not what John the Baptist would do! John cared about the truth and not being perceived as “nice.” How we have gone wrong, we Catholics, all the good and decent people in our society – wrong in what? In not imitating John and other saints in their virtues, but giving in to the culture telling us to accept compromises and not insist on truth and moral values.
We have been duped into believing in “being nice” and not opposing evil with courage and determination. And now we see the disaster! Evil unopposed – will not just go away! Truth – undefended – will be trampled by lies and deception. The evil people will only be emboldened by the perceived passivity of the good.
If evil wins it is because the good did not show courage to resist it!
We must never stand passively by when evil is called good, and good is slandered as evil. Many shepherds show no courage, falling into the temptation of “compromising and negotiating” as the world wants it. We have failed to be the light and the salt of the world, instead we have become irrelevant. And now we face the consequences, standing on the ashes of our once Christian western culture. It was a culture that created the greatest civilization known in human history because it boldly proclaimed after Aristotle, Augustine and Thomas Aquinas that truth could be known by the intellect and man could be virtuous by effort cooperating with grace.
Now the western civilization in decadence proclaims that there is no truth, that it cannot be known; that there is no good and evil, right and wrong; that man is no longer a person created in the image and likeness of God – but merely a body that can be re-engineered at will; now man is only an animal satisfying a drive for pleasure.
Without an anchor in absolute values; without any moral points of reference, our culture is plunging into insanity of ideologies that destroy human nature and dignity – genderism, trans-sexualism; trans-humanism –all this comes straight from hell and will lead to ruin.
Our society desperately needs to hear a message of hope, to have the courage and strength to resist the powers of evil, but where is this hope to come from?
Brethren in Christ our eagerly awaited Redeemer, as we enter into the last days of Advent, the Scripture presents to us again the figure of John the Baptist because if we are to be people of hope in the darkness of the contemporary world, then we must learn from John and imitate his virtues. Our Church desperately needs shepherds but also faithful like John –courageous in defending the truth and God’s commandments.
How we should remember the words of Archbishop Vigano: “We need to intervene where evil is spreading; for evil spreads where daring Christians who oppose evil with good are lacking."
John the Baptist not only understood this exhortation, but he lived it in his life. At this Holy Sacrifice of the Mass of All Time, may we pray for the grace of courage to bear witness to God's truth in our world; to be humble yet indomitable in spirit. Prepare your hearts for the joy of Christmas Night – for Our Lord is coming as the light of the world. Keep the faith and trust in the Lord.