…for those of us who think it is a disgrace that he (the President) is invited to Notre Dame to receive a degree and give the commencement speech.
He is likely going to give a very good speech and maybe an uplifting one. We are going to look very foolish when he does…
…however you know what: Let us look foolish!
We don’t dispute that the president can make a good speech or give a good message. Since Fr. Jenkins is not going to retreat I hope that the president does give a good speech and an inspiring one. That is the task that he has been given.
We say and we affirm that we are Catholics. We say and affirm the Nicene Creed every week. We affirm our loyalty to the Holy Roman Catholic Church. We affirm that the foremost Catholic University in the United States has a moral obligation to stand up for those Catholic values that we embrace. We affirm and support the message of the Bishops of the church that we don’t honor those who stand against our deepest beliefs and aid an intrinsic evil.
We take this stand even if it is unpopular, in fact especially if it is unpopular. St. Peter’s greatness didn’t come when he took the popular and safe decision to deny Jesus when he was clearly going down. He built a church by defying the leaders of his own Jewish faith (Don’t forget Jesus and all of the early disciples were Jews.) and the greatest military power in the world. He died defying that power but he died with the keys to heaven in his hands and when those who killed him came to the gates who was standing there with the keys?
I am an American Catholic of Italian/Sicilian stock. My grandparents came to this country over 100 years ago and built a life. I would not trade my worst time in America for the citizenship of any other nation and I thank God and my parents and grandparents that I and my children are Americans, however at best I will live in America for 120 years more likely with my waistline closer to 60-70 years if I’m lucky. Eternity is a whole lot longer. If I have to choose between America and the kingdom of heaven that is no choice at all:
The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the learning of the learned I will set aside.”
Where is the wise one? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made the wisdom of the world foolish? For since in the wisdom of God the world did not come to know God through wisdom, it was the will of God through the foolishness of the proclamation to save those who have faith.
For Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
Consider your own calling, brothers. Not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. Rather, God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong, and God chose the lowly and despised of the world, those who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing those who are something, so that no human being might boast before God. It is due to him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, as well as righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Whoever boasts, should boast in the Lord.” 1 Cor 1:18-31
We will look foolish in the eyes of many but eternity is a long time and when we get to the gates we know who will be holding the keys.