We Are The World

In 1985, a song entitled, “We Are the World”, recorded to right some wrongs in the world, made the top charts in 20 different nations. And yet, many things are still wrong in the world today. Our favorite sweet, Tasty cakes, are smaller but cost more. We still drive around with gas engines polluting the atmosphere. Gas costs a good bit more than three dollars. Our weather patterns are running amok. Our political parties don’t seem to represent us anymore. Our priests have gotten off of the pedestal, which we put them on in the first place, and are proving to be very much human. Everything in the world is topsy-turvy, is upside- down. In short, our world is run by very fallible humans.

We are not perfect. We are human beings. When we go up to communion to receive Christ we don’t do it because we are perfect, not even because we are trying to be perfect. We go up to receive Jesus because we need him to correct our imperfections. He said “…do this in remembrance of me”. And again, “He who eats this Bread shall live forever.” In short, Jesus is saying, whoever believes and eats this Bread, will receive Him and be united with Perfection. We receive Jesus, and our humanity, our sinful humanity, is once again united with God.

We, the tasty cake eaters, the gas guzzling enthusiasts, the political party people, the sinful humanity, we are united with God. All of those things that are wrong with the world stem from our fallen nature. WE are not perfect. Every person who does not measure up to OUR expectations is a human being, and by definition is ALSO not perfect.

WE are the church. We ARE the church. WE ARE THE CHURCH, the people of God. We need Jesus so that we can become associated with perfection. It is that simple. One of the most problematic peoples for Jesus was the Pharisees. He called them “whited sepulchers”. They did things on the outside to make themselves look holy, but inwardly they were a contradiction to what they manifested. We must take care that we don’t fall into that trap, also. It is very easy for us to say, “I am a sinner, Lord”. “I am so unworthy”. We may even tell others how unworthy, we are. But, inwardly, we rebuke others for not being better, for not being as we are. It is so easy to fall into that trap. So how do we guard against it?

Have you noticed that all of the above paragraphs begin with the word “We” except the first? In that paragraph we are busy pointing out what is wrong with the world. Hmmm… maybe we are answering our own observation. We don’t like how things are. We don’t like how people act, look, dress. We think they are too dirty, too noisy, too much in our face. We believe politicians are all dishonest and should be better than that. We think priests should be holier. We think people are too concerned about money, profits, and their own interests. We are always pointing our finger in an outwardly direction. So how do we guard against being like the Pharisees?

It is time for us to point our finger inwardly, at ourselves. It is time for a little self-introspection. Hey, we are NOT perfect, so we can stop judging and criticizing others. We can stop pretending that we are perfect. Each person (you and I) in this world has ONE major responsibility. And that one responsibility is to take care of our own growth, our own concern for others, and our own respect for others. What is our prayer life like? Do we truly understand what Mass is all about? Do we realize that we put our life on that paten, together with the bread, to be offered up to God? Are we joyous when we go to Mass on Sunday? Do we really believe in the Divine Presence in the Eucharist? Do we say our prayers regularly? Do we ask the saints to intercede in behalf of others, and not just ourselves? Do we pray to Mary? There are so many areas of neglect within us, that we need mirrors surrounding us, just to remind us of what things have to be done.

We end this article with a plea to all of us, to look at the Christ and realize His love for us is unconditional. His love for us is infinite. He is not enamored by our false humility. He is not taken in with our cries of “I am so weak, Lord”. All He is asking of us is to trust Him. He wants us to know that His unconditional, infinite love is given to us freely. We don’t earn it. We cannot earn it. Because He accepts us, as we are, then, and only then, can we see and accept ourselves, AS WE ARE, not as we want to be. At that moment, we can truly recognize and accept the problems of others, as well. We can truly be concerned for and love others. The Church of God holds each other’s hands, as Jesus holds us. We are the World.