Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois, gave a homily on the feast of the Baptism of the Lord that reflected his thoughts on the course the United States has taken during a tumultuous election year, and particularly the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
He was interviewed by senior editor Joan Frawley Desmond Jan. 12, where he discussed his homily, his reasons for what he wrote, and a way forward.
Your latest Sunday homily, partly sparked by the riot at the Capitol last week, asked whether Christians were admirers of Christ or actual followers of Christ? If the latter, were they ready to love their enemy as Christ called them to do? What prompted that homily?
The homily was the fruit of prayer and thought, as I reflected on our times and what has been taking place in our country. We have seen a series of violent outbreaks over the past few months in the country. We have also seen how politically divided our country is. The Georgia Senate runoff last week was almost 50-50, with a slight margin.
In all these contests, you have winners and losers and people tend to demonize their political opponents or the opposing party.
Then I reflected on the readings, which include the Baptism of the Lord. I reflected on how his baptism set an example for us. The Father’s voice says, “This is my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased.”
We are adopted sons and daughters of God. And as the Son loved the Father, so we are also called to love the Father. In the second reading, we are called to show our love through following the Commandments. It struck me that people often think they are good Christians, but are they following the Commandments?
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