The breaking of the fellowship
There was a time when faith was an accepted part of society and public policy.
There was a time when “Catholic community” was not just a buzzword in a parish mission statement.
That time seems long past now.
The “Catholic world” sometimes seems to be scattering.
It is not really as bad as it seems, of course, but it is not as good as it once was.
The world seems full of ex-Catholics and many who still attend Mass seem to practice “drive-by” Catholicism.
Society and politics seem to be turning more and more against people of faith (unless they are practitioners of some previously obscure belief systems who pose no threat to the secularists’ stranglehold).
We used to feel safety in numbers.
That is not guaranteed in this world – neither numbers nor safety.
In all of this, the words of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in today’s Gospel (John 16:29-33) give us courage and comfort:
the hour is coming
and has arrived
when each of you will be scattered to his own home
and you will leave me alone.
But I am not alone,
because the Father is with me.
I have told you this
so that you might have peace in me.
In the world you will have trouble,
but take courage,
I have conquered the world.