Sunday, October 18, 2020



Deacon Jerry Franzen Cathedral – October 18, 2020
Isaiah 45: 1, 4-6 Thessalonians 1:1-5b Matthew 22:15-21

Praised Be Jesus Christ. Good Morning.
"Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.”
We just heard that at the end of today’s Gospel.
Jesus is saying that we have two responsibilities:
to follow Civil laws, for example paying our ta
xes and to obey God’s law of love. 

Be sure that you vote; it is your God-given right to be free
to participate in the election of government officials and it is your civic duty.
You have a choice between two very different visions for the future of this country.
One of those visions seeks to remove all influence of religion from our system of government. 
Voting might be considered as one part of “repaying to our current ‘Caesar’.”
Some have said that there are many issues and that we should look at all of the issues
and form our consciences on how we should vote depending on that conglomerate of issues.

Take into account the enviromment, taxes, health care. etc.
You decide based on your weighting of those issues.
The inference is that a person should not be a single-issue voter.
You might want to read Fr. Ray Enzweiler’s article in the We Choose Life column of the most recent issue of the Messenger, a weekly publication of the Diocese of Covington, KY. 
These days others say that you should consider only one issue, because you profess to believe in God as the author of all life and human life is sacred.
The taking of an innocent human life is a grave matter.
Let’s look at the treatment of the sanctity of life from both the religious and civic sides.

On the side of giving to God what is His, we recognize that God is the author of all life.
He who gives life is the only one who can take it away.
We believe that abortion, the death penalty, euthanasia suicide and assisted suicide
are the taking of a life and not in self defense.
We believe these practices to be occasions of grave sin, and many Christians of other denominations share that belief.
Being the author of all life, only God can end it.
So, on the side of what we owe to God, we must come down on the side of being against abortion.
After all, God said, ”Thou shall not kill.”
Even atheists and members of non-Christian religions believe that the current laws against murder are just.


Let’s move over to what I would call the civic side.
The Declaration of Independence, a civil document states:
“….. all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
This, I believe, indicates that the founding fathers meant that all persons have been endowed by God with the unalienable right to life.
Abortion, the death penalty and assisted suicide are each a taking of a life, and each is abhorrent in its own right.
Those justices who controlled the decision on legalizing abortion seemed to not consider that abortion was the taking the life of a person.
They did not consider the baby in the womb to be a person nor did they consider that the baby had any constitutional rights.
The mother had rights , the baby did not.

Some have described that baby as “just a glob of cells.”
Others have said that since it seemingly cannot survive outside of the womb, the baby in the womb is not an individual, not a PERSON.
I believe that it was Justice Kennedy who said that if it ever were established that the baby in the womb is legally a person, that would be the basis for overturning the Supreme Court decision making abortion legal.

The fact that it has been shown that the baby in the womb has unique DNA distinct from the mother, supports the individuality of the baby.
It has been shown, through experiments, experiments that I would not condone, that an embryo in the right medium of nutrients outside of a womb can begin the process of its development.
The baby can begin development independent of the mother.

The baby has its own heart beat at 6 weeks, and some say that there is evidence that the baby can feel pain at about 27 wks gestation.
Abby Johnson, who once worked in an abortion facility and is now a Pro-Life speaker, left the abortion industry after she observed in a sonogram the baby attempting of fight off the instruments used for the baby’s eventual abortion.
Furthermore a healthy pregnancy should not be terminated for the health of the mother; pregnancy is not an illness or a disease.

And to say that this decision should be between the mother and her doctor and her clergyman is tantamount to saying that a mother could legally kill her baby after delivery because that, TOO, should be between her and her doctor and her clergyman.

I believe that there is hope that eventually the civil authorities will come around to our way of thinking: abortion is the taking of the most innocent of human life and it is intrinsically wrong.


On the more positive side:
We hope that information regarding abortion procedures, about pregnancy and about the Church’s teaching will better inform all mothers to choose life.
We hope that greater insight into the conception of life will lead to more conclusive evidence that life begins at conception.
We hope continuing investigations into what happens during a pregnancy will help to convert those who do not believe in the sanctity of life.
We hope that advances in medical techniques, such as sonograms, will convince more mothers that this truly is a person in the womb.
We hope that adoption procedures and greater access to them will encourage more mothers to choose birth for their babies and more families to be open to adoption.
We hope that more centers for free pre- and post- natal care will be established and utilized by mothers who are considering an abortion.
We hope that there will always be adequate resources available for these centers.

And while I am speaking about hope, I would be remiss if I did not mention hope for those who have been part of or affected by an abortion:
Mothers who have had an abortion,
Fathers who have been affected by the abortion of a child they fathered, and even extended family members who have been affected.
All may feel some degree of despair as a result of this act. 
Despair is the opposite of hope; it is hopelessness.
All involved must also know that there is hope for themselves – that our God is a forgiving God, a God whose mercy and compassion are infinite.

The only unforgiveable sin is the rejection of God's mercy.
Project Rachel is a program available through the Pro Life Office of our diocese.
It is specifically designed to assist those affected by an abortion, especially the mothers who have had an abortion.
There is a separate program for fathers.

If you are in this situation, make an appointment to speak with one of the priests here at the Cathedral or at your home parish, or any priest in the diocese.
He will be the agent of God’s mercy for you and
put you in touch with our Pro Life Office if you wish.
You can also call the Pro Life Office directly, if you like.
With the mercy of our God, the love of the Lord Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit there will always be the possibility of a better tomorrow.
We are to repay God what belongs to Him; that will not change.

In their greeting, Paul, Silvanus and Timothy told the Thessalonians to endure in hope.
We must have hope and continue to pray that what belongs to our substitute for Caesar will change.