Serpents and Stones

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Announcing the birth of St. John the Baptist, which we celebrate today, the Angel of the Lord explained his greatness in these terms:

He shall convert many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and virtue of Elias; that he may turn the hearts of the fathers unto the children, and the incredulous to the wisdom of the just, to prepare unto the Lord a perfect people (Lk. 1:16-17).

We see here a further confirmation that God, as Father of his people, cares for his children by entrusting them to earthly fathers who are under his direction.

The flourishing of a people therefore depends, in a very particular way, on the conversion of fathers to the Lord their God, who directs them in giving good gifts to their children, and his.

There is another father, however, who wishes to turn the hearts of human fathers in a very different direction. This father “was a murderer from the beginning, and he stood not in the truth,” “for he is a liar, and the father thereof” (Jn. 8:44).

This diabolical father inspires fathers to abandon their children to those who would murder their bodies in the womb, or murder their souls with poisonous propaganda.

It is this father who has inspired a culture in which almost half of all children are born out of wedlock, over a million lives are snuffed out prior to birth, schools are shut down to placate the irrational fears of neo-germaphobes, children are forced to breathe through poisonous rags to placate the same paranoids, children are snatched from their parents to be mutilated in the name of perverse ideologies, and parents are arrested for insisting that their children not be taught to hate others based on their skin color.

“What man is there among you,” our Lord asks, “of whom if his son shall ask bread, will he reach him a stone? Or if he shall ask him a fish, will he reach him a serpent?” (Mt. 7:9-10)

The examples above are but a brief sampling of the ways our society has striven to prove itself capable of giving our children serpents and stones, instead of the spiritual nourishment they need.

On this feast of St. John the Baptist, let us pray that the heavenly Father will inspire earthly fathers to cease being reeds shaken with the wind, to reject the wiles of the father of lies, and turn our hearts to the children entrusted to our care.

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