Thursday, June 7, 2012

Wisconsin, Post-Recall: What to do?

     By the time this column is read the Wisconsin recall election will be history.  About half the state will be celebrating and the other half will be trying to understand what happened and why as well as trying to rub some salve into their wounds.
     Whatever the outcome, one thing that I truly hope does not happen is another endless round of recriminations and breast beating over how the results of this election are a disaster of epic proportions for the state, the country, and all of the civilized world.  We don’t need more stalling from the losers or crowing about “mandates” and “I told you so” from the victors.  Governing is serious business and a sacred trust.  Now is the time to recognize the signs of the times and then get busy with the business of healing the many relationships that have been strained or even broken over these past two years.
     We must always remember that life is ultimately about relationships – first with God, and then with our neighbor.  As we continue in the month dedicated to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, we must recognize – as if our very salvation depended on it – that charity, “love”, is the first and last criteria by which we will be judged for entry into eternal happiness.  Wait!  OUR SALVATION DOES DEPEND ON IT!
     So, wherever you came down on the issues at stake, if the past several months have strained any of your relationships, shake it off – even if it hurt – and let us be a community that is recognized, by our love for one another, as belonging to Christ.  That is, after all, how Christ said we would be recognized.  It is also that to which He gave witness from the throne of his holy cross!
     Sunday, June 10, we celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi – the Body and Blood of Christ.  This feast, in which we recognize the reality of Christ’s presence in the Eucharist, not in some fuzzy, spiritual sense, but rather in a sacramental and very real sense, is particularly appropriate and providential as we seek to come together in love.  Think about what Christ suffered in order to bring us this gift of love, this gift of communion with Him, and through Him – with the Most Blessed Trinity.
     As I mentioned above, Christ has given us an example of being a true and living witness to the virtue of Love (charity) from his holy cross.  The sacrifice of the cross is made present to us in the most holy Eucharist.  Thus, in our reception of this most Blessed Sacrament, we are incorporated into something more than a fuzzy sense of mystery.  We are in fact incorporated into the Body of Christ with all of its resurrected glory as well as its human suffering.  In this most Blessed Sacrament we are given the grace to make Christ’s own response to persecution and suffering present in our very difficult reality.
     Having been given this grace through the most Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist, it becomes incumbent upon us to use the power of this grace well and for the purpose for which it was given – that is, for the salvation of the world through the continuing and ever more perfect establishment of Christ’s Kingdom of Love within it.  Not always an easy thing to do.  However, I’m sure all will agree that it is the truly necessary thing to do!