From the Pastor – January 21, 2018

After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”  (Mk. 1:14-15)

The words above are the first words spoken by Jesus in the Gospel of Mark.  How are we to interpret them?  Clearly the words evidence the reality that occurred when God was incarnate in the person of Jesus Christ.  If God is incarnate, then “this is the time of fulfillment”; all of the prophecies have been fulfilled.  And if Jesus is present, then the Kingdom of God is present, since the Kingdom is present where the King is present.  But what about the middle part “repent and believe in the Gospel”?

There are different ways to understand the words “repent and believe in the Gospel.  They can be understood collectively, in the sense that society needs to repent; and they can be understood individually, in the sense that each of us needs to repent.  Personally, I think it’s easier to understand these words individually.  Each of us should be aware of our own sins.  If we aren’t, then we really need to examine ourselves.  Many times during the day we will probably find ourselves thinking thoughts, saying words or carrying out actions that do not exhibit perfect charity toward God or our neighbor.  And if we think we are doing pretty well, we might need to think what we have neglected to think, say or do.

But what about “collective repentance.”  Where does that take place?  Collective repentance is when we examine ourselves as a society and realize that we have created structures that are sinful.  One of the most obvious structures of sin in our current culture is the abortion industry.  Prescinding from the moral arguments about abortion (bet you never thought you’d hear me say that), the abortion business is a big business that employs multiple doctors, nurses, “counselors,” and “helpers.”  There are over 1.25 million abortions in America each year.  Abortions cost anywhere from about $500 (for an early term abortion) to over $3000 (for a late term abortion).  Conservatively speaking, abortion is a $1 billion industry that we have allowed to be established in our country.  We are in need of collective repentance for this travesty.

There are 150 babies killed each hour in the United States of America.  That’s about the length of time we’ll be in Mass. I hope you find that shocking.  I’d say we’re in need of collective repentance for tolerating an industry that profits on the death of our most innocent children.

On the other hand, we should remember that young women seeking abortions are not our enemies.  People advocating abortion are not our enemies.  Not even abortionists are our enemies.  Our enemy is the devil, who puts misguided ideas in people’s minds to justify the destruction of life.  Every life is precious, because we are made in God’s image and likeness.

(Rev. Msgr.) Christopher H. Nalty