Last week I was driving somewhere and one of the many signs on the side of road caught my attention. The sign simply said: “Jesus 2020” Wondering if this was just a random sign, I did what every good detective does – look it up on Google. I found that thousands of these signs have been shipped throughout the country. In an article on the campaign, I read the following from one of the organizers: “People need Jesus with everything that’s going on…He’s the only one that we can count on. He’s the one that keeps his promises. He’s already the winner.”
I do not mean to suggest by bringing this to your attention that our upcoming election is not important. It definitely is. And if you are hoping that I might write something that will tell you how to vote, then you can stop reading now. For good, sound, Catholic guidance, I invite you to review Bishop Paprocki’s Catholic Times column from September 20, 2020. All of his columns can be found at https://ct.dio.org/bishops-column My point in bringing this sign and its campaign up is to encourage all of us to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus during these challenging times. We recently heard the story of St. Peter walking on the water toward Jesus. We know the story. As long as Peter kept his eyes fixed on Jesus, he was able to walk across the waters. However, as soon as his attention turned to the wind and the waves around him, he began to sink. The lesson is so timely for us. We can so easily get fixed on the commotion related to the election, or the pandemic, or whatever anxiety-creating event is going on in our lives or in the world, that we feel ourselves being pulled down, sinking as it were. But when we keep our eyes fixed on Christ, praying each day, reading the Scriptures, going to Mass, we will find that the winds do not overwhelm us, because we know that Jesus is there, He will not let us sink, no matter what happens.
Some may read this as sidestepping the whole issue and may even consider it cowardly for me not to speak up or speak more strongly on certain issues related to the election. As I said, our shepherd has provided us some good direction on forming our consciences and acting accordingly. While I am concerned about the future of our country, I am more immediately concerned about your souls, and the good of our parish community. Elections have a way of dividing people and it can get downright nasty with the things we say and think about others. Let’s not let the division and anxiety of our world get to us, drawing our attention from the true center, Jesus Christ.
In the end, if ours eyes are not fixed on Christ and we are not casting a vote for Him each and every day of our life, in every aspect of our life, we have more to be concerned about than the outcome of an election. So yes, get to know the issues, form your conscience, but do not take your eyes off of Christ, because if you are not in that relationship with Him, you will begin to sink, and no government leader or party can save you from that – only Jesus can rescue you, and only in Him can we truly hope.