They say hindsight is 20/20. When we look back on the year 2020 from a future perspective, we may wonder what insights we have gained and experienced.
This year I think was a fundamental call of getting back to basics. For the umpteenth time, I am asking myself what do I need more of and what do I need less of. What does God want from me at this moment, where do I follow the path of Jesus and what promptings of the Holy Spirit are stirring in my heart? As the fall days descend and the evenings get longer, I can once again see the need for God.
This is also the time that I celebrate my second year as an American Citizen. The ceremony was incredible. Of course, you must pass background checks, fingerprinting, and the exam! It is an early morning trip to Milwaukee to Federal Court. The immigration official presents us to the judge who speaks to us on behalf of the American People. We are asked to stand—everyone else is seated—then we take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America.
"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."
It is interesting to see that the first word is I and we invoke the assistance of God at the end to keep us faithful to our oath of citizenship. (Did I mention that nearly every American Citizen present was in tears as we took the oath?)
In this Sunday’s Gospel, the question of allegiance is asked of Jesus. The Pharisees are trying to trap him to see if he will make some type of political claim. Where is his allegiance, and what should a person do? Whose head is on the coin —Caesar, of course. But we learn from Jesus that we live in a world with our head pointed towards heaven and our feet are firmly on the ground. We must learn to live in the world as faith-filled Christian Catholics.
That is why we must faithfully exercise our conscience and prepare for the upcoming election in two weeks. Whatever our political affiliation, we need to vote. Yes, debate the issues but pray and vote for the Republic to which we belong. That way, we allow God to act in our lives as we try to discern the best course of action, as we say in our local community here.
Loving God and Father - You sent your Spirit to us to help us on our way. Give us the grace as people of Kaukauna Catholic Parishes to discover the life of Jesus, and to live and share this Joy with others- so that your will may be done on earth as it is in heaven. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord forever and ever. Amen