An Independence Day Homily

So many of us are wearied and worried
by the factionalism and divisiveness in our country and our church.
The noise is overwhelming.

Mass on this day is a welcome retreat and a gift.
Here, we hear of another world, and begin to share in it:
“Justice will bring about peace,” Isaiah promises.
“God’s people will leave in a peaceful country.”
“Peace be with you,” Our Lord says to his disciples, and to us.

Amidst all the noise, the peace of today’s liturgy
is something like doing Centering Prayer in Grand Central Station –
or the Peaceable Kingdom breaking into human affairs.

I believe that the most patriotic thing to do on this day,
the best way to serve our country and society,
is to be at Mass, to be entirely seized by its message,
and to live in this world
as witnesses to that other world God intends to bring about.

This homily was given today, July 4, at Saint John’s Abbey by Anthony Ruff, OSB. The featured graphic is “The Peaceable Kingdom” by Edward Hicks.

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