With Mary, the Holy Mother of God, with the Apostles, with Mary Magdalene and the holy women who came to the empty tomb, we believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. With Thomas, who once doubted, we make out profession of faith, "My Lord and my God!" The beloved Disciple St. John assures us in today's Epistle, "This is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith."
It is with great sadness that we witness the faithlessness of the present generation. We have already noted that some who do not know God dare to blaspheme His Divine Son, Jesus Christ, presenting Him as a merely human figure who staged His own Resurrection, married Mary Magdalene, and left a line of descendants who still live on this earth. This is the theme of The Da Vinci Code. Yet in what must inflame God's anger to its height, calling down His justified and imminent chastisements upon this world, they now shamelessly insult the holy, most pure and Immaculate Virgin Mary. In a shocking and blasphemous musical comedy entitled "Mary, Like a Virgin," Mary is portrayed as a lewd and impure woman, and blasphemous things are implied about her relationship with the all-holy God.
Blasphemy - among the greatest of sins, a crime punishable by death in the Old Testament, as we read in the Book of Leviticus: "Tell the Israelites: Anyone who curses his God shall bear the penalty of his sin; whoever blasphemes the name of the Lord shall be put to death. The whole community shall stone him; alien and native alike must be put to death for blaspheming the Lord's name" (Leviticus 24:15,16).
God revealed His Holy Name to Moses on Mount Sinai. When Moses asked Him, "When I go to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' if they ask me, 'What is His name?' what am I to tell them?" And God said, "This is what you shall tell the Israelites: I AM sent me to you" (Exodus 3:13,14).
On several occasions Our Lord took to Himself the holy Name, I AM, to which He had a right, being the only-begotten Son of God. Falsely accusing Our Lord of blasphemy, the Jews took up stones to cast at Him when He said to them: "'Abraham your father rejoiced that he was to see My day. He saw it and was glad.' The Jews therefore said to Him, 'Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast Thou seen Abraham?' Jesus said to them, 'Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM.' They therefore took up stones to cast at Him; but Jesus hid Himself, and went out from the temple" (John 8:56-59).
About Our Lord's trial before the Sanhedrin we read: "Again the high priest began to ask Him, and said to Him, 'Art Thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?' And Jesus said to him, 'I am. And you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power and coming with the clouds of Heaven.' But the high priest tore His garments and said, 'What further need have we of witnesses? You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?' And they all condemned Him as liable to death" (Mark 14:61-64).
We find in the Catechism of the Council of Trent a well deserved rebuke against those who abuse the name of the Lord. After discussing other sins against the Second Commandment, the Catechism says about blasphemy: "Still more enormous is the guilt of those who, with impure and defiled lips, dare to curse or blaspheme the holy name of God - that name which is to be blessed and praised above measure by all creatures, or even the names of the Saints who reign with Him in glory. So atrocious and horrible is this crime that the Sacred Scriptures, sometimes when speaking of blasphemy use the word blessing."
The greatest of Saints reigning with God in glory, our beloved Mother and Queen, is insulted, derided, pierced to the heart in this latest horrible caricature of the holiest and fairest of all God's creatures. The Immaculate Mother of the Risen and Glorified Christ, assumed body and soul into Heaven with Him, is dragged through the mud and filth of this sinful world. How can we not weep and mourn such an indignity to our beloved Holy Mother? How can we not rise up in righteous anger at so great an offense against Heaven! May St. Michael the Archangel cast down those impious scoundrels as he cast out the devil and his angels from Heaven: "And there was a battle in Heaven; Michael and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels. And they did not prevail, neither was their place found any more in Heaven" (Apocalypse 12:7,8).
This must be a wakeup call for us. The Son of God Himself is denied and crucified again, and the sword of sorrow once again pierces the heart of His Holy Mother. God's just anger is being enkindled against a world immersed in sin and unbelief, and the threatened chastisements are upon us. The angels are already pouring out the bowls of God's wrath upon the nations. If we let these terrible atrocities pass us by without springing into action we may never have the grace to resist the onslaughts of Satan's kingdom. If we remain passive and spineless while the enemies of the cross of Christ have their way we may end up like them: "For many walk, of whom I have told you often and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is ruin, their god is the belly, their glory is in their shame, they mind the things of earth" (Philippians 3:18,19).
Our chief weapon in the spiritual combat is devout and persevering prayer - our rosaries and other devotions, our prayerful Scripture reading, our meditating on the things of God, and devout participation in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. We must proclaim our loyalty to Christ and His Kingdom by conforming our lives to His - no more affection for sin and the broad path that leads to destruction, but a firm choice of the narrow way that leads to life. But we can also act together to defend what we hold dear, demonstrating to the world that we will not accept its insults and blasphemies against our God and His Holy Mother. We have work to do.
"All that is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith. Who is there that overcomes the world if not he who believes that Jesus is the Son of Godů He who believes in the Son of God has the testimony of God in himself" (1 John 5:4,5,10).