Imagine a sleeping giant suddenly beginning to awaken. A massive giant with great power and wisdom. A giant so large that its body literally covers the entire world.
It yawns. It moves. It begins to stand up. Then the shaking begins.
The sleeping giant is, of course, the Church. It is you and me. It is the vast, massive, reality of Catholicism arising from slumber. A slumber caused by the pervasive, mind numbing, deceptive, poison fog of secular ideologies and worldly wisdom.
Being Catholic is not enough. We need to be Catholics who are awakened to the power of the Gospel. We need to be Catholics who understand the call to become saints. A call that should rouse every part of our being from the culture of death that surrounds us.
Jesus came to cast a fire on the earth. He came to wake up every man, woman and child. He came to save us all from the living hell created by sin.
Just think of all that mankind has done in the last hundred years. World wars. Genocide. Abortion. A legacy of horror that proves once and for all that we need God. We need Jesus. We need Jesus like a man lost in the desert needs water. God is life and to ignore life is to sleep the sleep of death.
'Jesus spoke to the crowds about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed to be cured.'
Take a really good look at the culture we are in. It induces sleep. A sleep that deprives us of passion, vitality and the true meaning of existence.
It is refreshing to listen to Pope Francis. He engages the world without bowing before its empty ideology. His words speak to the heart of the matter:
“And this is a message meant for me and for you dear sister, for you dear brother. . . . Let the risen Jesus enter your life, welcome him as a friend, with trust: he is life.
“If up till now you have kept him at a distance, step forward. He will receive you with open arms. If you have been indifferent, take a risk: you won’t be disappointed.
“If following him seems difficult, don’t be afraid, trust him, be confident that he is close to you, he is with you and he will give you the peace you are looking for and the strength to live as he would have you do.”
These are words to wake us up. Words of faith, hope, and love. No, the Church will not ultimately go to the world for wisdom. The world must come to the Church. Holiness is attractive. Virtue is attractive. And when the sleeping giant shakes off its slumber, its power is undiminished. Because this giant was not formed by any human source.
This giant, called the Church, originated with God. The truth will march on. Even when truth is forgotten, persecuted or outlawed it goes on.
Because truth is Jesus and Jesus is truth. Jesus will not be stopped. Not by anyone. Not ever. Though it may not be politically correct to say it, Jesus will reign over all. Forever.
Every knee will bow before him. His cross will be seen for what it was, and is – the all-powerful salvation of humanity. In this week’s Gospel, it says a crowd was following Jesus.
“And he received them and spoke to them of the kingdom of God and healed those who had need of healing.”
Jesus came to speak to us of the kingdom of God – a kingdom that will outlast and overcome the empty promises of all the kingdoms of this world. He came to bring healing, peace and mercy to us all.
It was Billy Graham who said the Catholic Church is a sleeping giant and when it awakens, it will shake the world.
Yes, my friends, we will shake the world not with a false triumphalism but with humility. We will shake the world with truth governed by compassion and mercy. We will shake the world when we learn to live fully our rich heritage of prayer, Scripture, reconciliation and Communion.
Something good is happening. The giant is awakening. Listen. God is calling. It is time to shake the world.