Tuesday of the Thirty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
(Click here for readings)
While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned wit costly stones and votive offerings, Jesus said, “All that you see here – the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.”
Things crumble. Nations crumble. I have no doubt in my mind that America will one day crumble. Why? Because history has a way of repeating itself and nations have a way of recycling themselves.
This morning I read an article written in the New York Times entitled, “The Changing American Family.” How sterile. How blah. Neither hot or cold. Is the change good or bad? Who am I to judge, right?
CHELSEA, MICH. — Kristi and Michael Burns have a lot in common. They love crossword puzzles, football, going to museums and reading five or six books at a time. They describe themselves as mild-mannered introverts who suffer from an array of chronic medical problems. The two share similar marital résumés, too. On their wedding day in 2011, the groom was 43 years old and the bride 39, yet it was marriage No. 3 for both.
Today, their blended family is a sprawling, sometimes uneasy ensemble of two sharp-eyed sons from her two previous husbands, a daughter and son from his second marriage, ex-spouses of varying degrees of involvement, the partners of ex-spouses, the bemused in-laws and a kitten named Agnes that likes to sleep on computer keyboards.
So what do you think? I will tell you what I thought: Just another day in paradise. Of course, it is not paradise, especially for kids. In fact, for many of them, it is another day in hell.
According to the Wall Street Journal, married couples with children make up only 19% of U.S. households today, down from 40% in 1970. Did you notice they did not use the term “family.” I can understand that. What exactly does family mean today? In my opinion, it means nothing. The word has lost all meaning, all crispness, all wholeness. Nowadays anything (and nothing) can be considered a family. And while word continues to flow – or spill over – and “evolve”, or better yet “dissolve,” so to does our understanding of two other words: civility and society.
Have you heard of a new game that is raging out of control among young teens across America? It’s called the “Knockout Game.” It’s the latest version of another (and older) game called bullying and it is spreading like wildfire all over America. It doesn’t matter who gets “picked”: old, young, male, or female. And the object of the game is to knock out some unsuspecting person with just one punch.
Today, I read a comment left by an atheist, who wrote: “We know humans acquire a sense of morality without a supernatural account or explanation. Church attendance remains on the decline as more people realize that religion is evil…” (lonborghini)
Wow! Talk about a twisted sense of morality. Religion is evil, and Communism (no religion) was…? Oh, well, if morality is acquired, then who do we acquire it from: Atheists? Communists? Nazis? You’re guess is as good as…well…a guess, I guess.
Now there is nothing wrong with division and fractions in mathematics. But when families are divided and fractured, then the remaining members can go seriously wrong, especially the little ones.
Are you surprised? You shouldn’t be. After all, when children are in pain it won’t take long for unsuspecting people to feel their pain - especially when they are so willing to voluntarily and violently share it with others.
How will we attempt to solve this problem? Like we have with so many other issues: Cameras, videos, increased police surveillance and public announcements.
As long as we do nothing to save our families and nurture our faith, these problems will not go away. Instead, they will simple evolve into something more grave and barbarous. (118)