Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Health Care Debate

25 Sunday B #134

Wis 2, 12. 17-20
Ps 54
Jas 3, 16. 4, 3
Mk 9, 30-37

Deacon Tom Cornell
St. Mary’s Church, Marlboro, N.Y.
Sept. 20, 2009

Today’s Gospel follows a pattern, as in last week's: Jesus predicts his passion, death and resurrection, his disciples fail to understand, then Jesus instructs them on the true nature of discipleship. The disciples can’t take it in and they are afraid to question him. They are distracted, their minds are elsewhere. When Jesus asks them what they were just arguing about out on the road, they are so embarrassed they can’t answer. But Jesus knows, of course. They have been trying to establish a pecking order, who is going to be number one, number two &c. So Jesus offers them a lesson about what it means to be a true disciple of his. He introduces a child, enfolding him in his arms. In this way Jesus forges a new set of relationships: welcome the little child and you welcome me; welcome me and you welcome God himself. The point is, stand with the powerless, the marginalized and the disenfranchised rather than seek favor by catering to the powerful.

In this story, the disciples are mirror images of ourselves. Their failures, their unwillingness to understand, prefigure the patterns of future generations of disciples over the ages, people just like you and me, slow to understand the radical message of Jesus, and slower yet to follow. Jesus didn’t give up on the first disciples. He won’t give up on us either.

Today the nation is debating health care, or more precisely, health care insurance. Our bishops have insisted time and time again that health care is not a privilege, not something to be earned or something to be bought and paid for but a right, a natural right we are born with: every man, woman and child has the moral right to medical care because each and every one is made in the image and likeness of God and redeemed by the blood of Christ. “How about immigrants, how about illegal aliens?” you may ask. If the illegal alien is in the womb? Of course! We Catholics believe in the right to life. We are against abortion. We all know that! But how about just after she is born, if she needs special care to survive? Does she have the right to life then? Does the right to life end at birth? How about the parents? Alien, citizen, what does it matter? They are brothers and sisters in Christ! When Joseph fled to Egypt with Mary and the Baby Jesus, did he have a valid visa? These questions are silly and distracting, and they are meant to be. Don’t fall for it! Don’t be distracted! Keep your eye on the prize, hold on: access to health care for all as a matter of right! The problem is how to make a moral right a legal right.

This is not the place to advocate one political solution to the problem of health care, or the lack of it, in our country, over another political solution. This is not the place for politics. But this is the place to insist upon the right to life and the right to the means to life for each and every one, not eighty percent or ninety percent but all, one hundred percent. And further, let me suggest that, as you examine the political debate, you take a look at those who are sniping at every effort for real reform. Are they speaking the language of unity and compassion, or are they speaking the language of division, hatred and fear?

The language of hate and fear was not the language of Pope John Paul to the General Assembly of the United Nations thirteen years ago. He urged us to set aside fear. He spoke of a common effort “to build a civilization of love, founded on the universal values of peace, solidarity, justice, and liberty.” Health care is a matter of justice, because it is each person’s due. It is a matter of solidarity, because we are all of one body. It is a matter of liberty, because the sick are not free. It is a matter of peace, because where justice is denied peace can not flourish. It is a step, a small one, but a step toward building a civilization of love, and a small step away from the brink of disaster.

Fear is a mighty weapon, a weapon of oppressors. The truth will make you free. The truth is that there is nothing to fear, nothing to fear but sin, and it is a most serious sin to kill the innocent. Fear sin! It is a sin to deny our brothers and sister and their, our children the means to life, and a healthy life at that. Human decency demands no less. Authentic religion demands no less. God demands no less: do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with your God (Mi 6,8). If this is not the place to say so, this place has no reason to stand. 

1 comment:

Brittanicus said...

In the past not too many Americans and legal residents were unaware of the happenings in Congress. Today instant contact is a way of life for anybody who has access to a computer. In 1986 other than the paper media, tv and radio gave any evidence of the Immigration Reform package and that was surely limited? The US population was isolated from the truth that was to befall them, after the Simpson/Mazzoli bill passed because the politicians hid the truth? 2 million guest workers were to be given citizenship, but the process became full of corruption and 5.3 million was eventually approved for blanket AMNESTY. Expeditiously the guest workers moved away from agriculture and joined the mainstream of workers. BOTH POLITICAL PARTIES ARE EQUALLY TO TAKE BLAME FOR THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION OCCUPATION OF OUR NATION.

The people who picked the fruit and vegetables in the farms vanished, so that meant more floods of illegal workers to take the empty places. Today Obama wants to pass another miserable immigration reform bill, even though the main author Edward Kennedy insisted there would never be another path to citizenship. Millions of honest voter don't believe the rhetoric or lies that spill from the politicians anymore. Again behind closed drapes they have been having a secret summit, with little or no participation of the press or pro-sovereignty groups. When lawmakers declare no more Immigration reform than they better stick to their words. Both parties contain corrupt legislators who care nothing for the working man/women and are ready to present in the House and Senate a new immigration reform bill.

287 G, was a lifeline to train local police authorities to arrest and question people, but that may have seen the end of days. The no-match letter may also have been sold out, as well as ICE raids to pander to extremist groups such as La Raza. A recently released report by the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that 42 states lost jobs last month with Indiana alone losing 9,500 jobs! With 15 million Americans out of work and most states continuing to lose jobs on a monthly basis, it is completely obnoxious that the United States hands out about 100,000 green cards each month! THIS IS NOT RACISM THIS IS ABOUT SURVIVAL!

President Obama is holding the reins, this time and already confusing the American people over health care. Joe Wilson was right to some degree about no mechanism in the health care package to identify illegal aliens. After the fact and bombarded by livid Americans they added amendments that would cut off all access. That why our legislators need to amplify the verification procedures, to remove foreign nationals from cheating the system.

I trust neither Sen. Harry Reid, House speaker Pelosi and all those who fumble along behind the major conspirators. Harry Reid's Nevada has hospitals in dire need of funds, because of the massive illegal alien population there. The same with California that's having release 20.000 prison inmates, because they were on the edge of bankruptcy, owing to indifferent assembly in Sacramento who allowed unfettered benefits to millions of illegal immigrant families feeding out of the waning state money trough.The businesses that draw them here, pay nothing to their living conditions. Those expenses are left to the taxpayers. Call your Senator or Representative at 202-224-3121 and demand no more Immigration Reform. If you want real facts find out about the corruption and other sinister issues at NUMBERSUSA & JUDICIAL WATCH. Only your irate voices will curtail another AMNESTY travesty and stop millions more arriving illegally in America?
Certainly I would like a Public option for some family members, but not if illegal aliens can benefit from US taxpayers paying the bill?