We live in uncertain times. We are uncertain about the economy, our security and our future. The First World confidence we once felt is evaporating slowly but surely.
I realize I do not speak for everyone but I know many others feel likewise. The world seems to be edging towards a vast precipice.
One only needs to gaze at our all-pervasive media to see the hopeless confusion on the planet. Immorality is sold as virtue. Innocence is mocked. The unborn are sacrificed by those who should protect them. The flood waters of chaos seem to be rising.
The Scripture says quite clearly, in many different ways, what we sow we shall reap.
What is happening in our world comes as a result of a vast sowing of evil. God desires us to choose good but instead we choose vice. God desires we choose light but too often we choose darkness. The results are plain to see. War. Division. Lies. Scandal. Injustice. Propaganda. Pain.
But there is a final refuge for humanity. As Christians, we have a hope that never fades. Our hope is not a myth, a clever philosophy, or an empty promise. Our hope is Jesus Christ. Our refuge is in his heart of mercy and love. Our future is in communion with him.
Today I saw a video where citizens of Spain – ordinary people like you and me – were being beaten by the police. Their economy has collapsed and they are unhappy with a government that seems callous and indifferent.
They want change. So hundreds of thousands marched. Many were violently abused by police who looked and acted like the Gestapo. How sad!
'Go, your faith has made you well.'
Whatever the reasons and justifications, it was a spectacle of epic injustice. Humans should not act this way. We are our brother's keeper.
Governments and people, rich and poor, young and old, are called to work together for the good of all. We are all accountable to the living God. When God is ignored, injustice encompasses humanity like a plague.
All around us, love is growing cold. People are being exploited and treated in inhuman ways. In all too many cases, this abuse is institutionalized by those clinging to power.
This is the "culture of death" of which Pope John Paul II warned. It is on the march. Unless the world repents and turns to God, it will cause increasing havoc on a global scale.
Pope Benedict has said of Christianity, "Being converted to Christ, becoming Christian, means receiving a heart of flesh, a heart sensitive to the passion and suffering of others."
The Church and our world need a conversion to transform us from the inside-out. We need a new heart "sensitive to the passion and suffering of others."
In this week's Gospel a blind man cries out to the Lord, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me." Jesus heals this blind man. Mercy breaks into his darkness. A fire is rekindled – his heart is transformed. He becomes a disciple.
Is humanity today not like this poor beggar? Do we not all need to cry out to Jesus with one voice?
This world is increasingly blind. Blind to the basic call of human existence. Blind to the Compassionate One who alone can save us.
So we Christians must cry out. We must cry in communion and solidarity with all who suffer. We must cry out with the saints and martyrs who have gone before us, "Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on us all."
Blessed John Paul said it powerfully: "The Church seems in a particular way to profess the mercy of God and to venerate it when she directs herself to the heart of Christ."
Let us pray and address ourselves directly to the heart of Christ.
This is our Year of Faith – the call to a New Evangelization. A year to allow Jesus to renew and heal us. A year to take refuge daily in the merciful heart of Jesus.
May Jesus open our spiritual eyes. May his light be spread to all people. May we be the torch of divine love in these darkening times.