Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Homily for 33rd Sunday of the Year (Remembrance Sunday)

Take care not to be deceived (Luke 21:8)

We live in a very secular, non-religious world, a world which often rejects and makes fun of or rejects religion because it is not scientific - yet it is often so surprising how people latch onto, and get enthralled by all kinds of strange and weird ideas.

People read horoscopes, and use tarot cards. They may visit spiritualists or mediums. Or they buy crystals which are said to have particular properties. Or they rearrange their furniture in a particular way. Or they try yoga, or meditation, or the newest or strangest idea. They read, and believe books like the Da Vinci Code, or ideas that God was an astronaut. They believe in ghosts, and spirits, in reincarnation, previous lives, out of body experiences … it goes on and on.

In this oh so scientific world, so many people - perhaps most people - hold on to unscientific beliefs and strange ideas, which they have collected like magpies, with little thought or consideration whether the ideas fit together, or contradict one another.

And - I will allow - there may be some substance in some parts of some of these ideas. That’s how they work. They have to have some little part that rings true in order to lead people into their fantasies. Science does not have all the answers. The world is spiritual as well as physical. There are unexplained phenomena.

And there is an explanation and an answer to our deepest human longings and our most troubling questions. There is a life beyond this life. A hope of resurrection. A God who loves us. A heavenly host who surrounds him. A guardian angel who accompanies us. There is a faith which is beautiful in both its simplicity and its consistency. It makes sense. It fits together. It stands the test of time. It is taught by an authority given to us by Christ himself.

Ah - but so many overlook this, or reject it. They want novelty. They want pick and mix religion. They want to choose and select, not receive what has been given.

The trouble is that some people will believe almost anything, provided it is different, and strange.

The great writer GK Chesterton got it exactly right: “When people cease to be believe in something, then they will believe in anything”.

Keep the faith. Do not be deceived.

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