And what is a nation’s “firm purpose”? Isaiah, in today’s first reading (26:1-6), tells us in the previous verse: “a nation that is just, one that keeps faith.”
It would be hard to argue that ours is a nation deeply divided. Partisanship along party lines has likely never been worse. Demonization of the opponent has been exacerbated by the 24/7 news cycle and omnipresent social media.
I will not pretend that there was some idyllic time in our nation’s history when we experienced lengthy kumbaya moments (glimpses of it certainly during WWII and 9/11 that were not sustained) and this is certainly not the worst time (may brother slaughtering brother during the Civil War over the sin of slavery never be repeated). But the ever-increasing rapidity in which this once proudly Christian nation is pushing God out of the public square can only lead to unrest and division (the devil clearly is more than happy to fill the void).
Let us pray more earnestly than ever that trust and faith in the Lord and authentic justice (a cardinal virtue) will soon be widespread in our country and the world and that humility (see v. 5) will rule the day.
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’
will enter the Kingdom of heaven,
but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. (v. 21)
The rest of the passage brings it home. Act on my words and you are solid like a rock. Don’t act on them and you are completely ruined.
Christ demands more than easy believism. He wants us all in.