I remember when I was a very little girl, our house caught on fire.
I’ll never forget the look on my father’s face as he gathered me up
In his arms and raced through the burning building out to the pavement.
I stood there shivering in my pajamas and watched the whole world go up in flames.
And when it was all over I said to myself,
“Is that all there is to a fire?”

Is that all there is?
Is that all there is?
If that’s all there is my friends
Then let’s keep dancing
Let’s break out the booze and have a ball
If that’s all there is.
Perhaps some of you recognize that as the lyrics of the Grammy winning song,            If That’s All There Is
recorded by the singer, Peggy Lee.  The lyrics are based on the book
Disillusionment by Thomas Mann.

Here is the third verse of the lyrics of the song:

And then I fell in love, with the most wonderful boy in the world.
We would take long walks by the river
Or just sit for hours gazing into each other’s eyes.
We were so very much in love.
Then one day, he went away and I thought I’d die.
But I didn’t.
And when I didn’t I said to myself,

“Is that all there is to love?”

Is that all there is?
Is that all there is?
If that’s all there is my friends
Then let’s keep dancing
Let’s break out the booze and have a ball
If that’s all there is

Peggy Lee’s recording of the song captured perfectly the despair, the disillusionment, the hopelessness that had begun characterize the attitude of more and more people in our society in the last half of the 20th Century.

Materialism, secularism, loss of a belief in the purpose of life, and life after death will inevitably produce the kind of cynicism and disillusionment
which led the Sadducees in the time of Our Lord Jesus Christ to propose to him the trick question about seven marriages.  What is most revealing about their question is that the question reflects their belief that a woman, the wife in the story, was just a possession; something/someone possessed successively by seven brothers.

Who were the Sadduccees?
The Sadducees were a sect or group of Jews that was active in Judea during the Second Temple period, starting from the second century BCE through the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE.
The sect was identified by Josephus with the upper social and economic echelon of Judean society.[1] As a whole, the sect fulfilled various political, social, and religious roles, including maintaining the Temple.

They were rich, politically powerful, secular, rather than religious – in other words they were the equivalent of the Washington “establishment” in their time.

Jesus answered the question of the Sadduccees by challenging their lack of belief in life after death.
Jesus cites sacred scripture that proclaims that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are not dead; they are very much alive.

The Sadducees would be right at home in America today.  The breakdown of so many marriages followed by divorce and civil
remarriage are just two of the many indicators of the predominance of secularism and materialism in todays society.

In the face of living a life without a purpose Peggy Lee’s invitation to “break out the booze” and “have a ball” is very persuasive.   Millions of Americans have turned to drugs to escape the seeming pointlessness of life with its succession of problems.
But there is no escape!

This week America faces its moment of truth.
There is not escaping the reality that on Tuesday America faces having an election for the presidency of this Nation unlike any election since the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 which precipitated the war between the States.

In 1860 the nation was terribly divided over the question of slavery.  The Democrats supported slavery and the Republicans opposed slavery, that is an historical fact.

Today we have a similar divide in our Nation:  the Democrats favor abortion-on-demand paid by tax-payer dollars and the Republicans oppose abortion, that is a fact.

The Democrats favor big government and high taxes to support big government and the Republicans oppose both of those ideas, that is a fact.

The Democrats favor unlimited immigration and the Republicans oppose it, that is a fact.

The Democrats favor same-sex marriage and transgender use of any toilet.  The Republicans oppose these changes, that is a fact.

Unlike the divisions that racked American society in 1860, these conflicting ideas are not likely to result in any states trying to secede from the Union, but they are likely to cause civil unrest and even rioting.

Next Tuesday you have a moral obligation to vote in the general election.

As a good Catholic you must cast your vote knowing that Our Lord Jesus Christ will be standing next to you in the voting booth watching you as you mark your ballot.

You may forget how you marked your ballot, but Our Lord Jesus Christ will remember how you marked your ballot.

Is putting a check mark next to a candidates name all there is to voting.

Is that all there is to it?
Is that all there is to it?

No, the fate of the nation depends on how you mark your ballot and your eternal salvation may depend on it.
Actions have consequences!!!

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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  1. Christ's Soldier and Servant says:

    Great homily and great picture!

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. I pray that Jesus Christ stands beside me as I mark my ballot; may He, and He alone guide my hand and my heart!

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