He wondered, however - as he looked at a half full church last week - where all the crowds went.
Just when I thought that was the low point for his homily, he told us that they surveyed the people at that Easter Mass. And only 36% of them could correctly identify what we were celebrating at Easter.
This troubled me greatly.
Ironically, I read bible readings and reflections each day through the Laudate app, and a recent reflection read:
In our times, some Christians claim they are the "moral majority," yet a few people have been able to defeat millions of Christians in legalizing abortion, promoting euthanasia, removing prayer from public schools, promoting homosexual acts, etc. Masses of Christians are being defeated by a few non-Christians because we have lost our first love (Rv 2:4). We "are caught up and overcome in" the pollution of the world once more (2 Pt 2:20). Possibly a parent, pastor, or Christian friend has helped us fix our eyes on Jesus. Now that is no longer the case. So we have fallen away, backslid, and have been defeated by even the weakest enemies.
Again, this was very troubling to me. However, I took some solace in a second reflection from that same app:
The queen mother, Athaliah, killed off the whole royal family, with the exception of one infant, Joash (2 Kgs 11:1-2). Seven years later, Joash and the priest, Jehoiada, were the central figures in overturning the wicked, idolatrous reign of Athaliah.
This pattern is often repeated throughout God's plan of salvation. An evil system dominates society and destroys so many people that only a few believers survive. Eventually, though, this remnant, by God's power, overturns the forces of evil.
Right now, new Athaliahs are killing off God's royal family. In the USA, one out of three babies in the womb are slaughtered before birth. Many who escape the womb are emotionally and spiritually destroyed by abuse and neglect. Many more become "spiritually brain-dead" after carelessly exposing themselves to the brainwashing from our secular society. They lose their minds, hearts, freedom, and objectivity. Nonetheless, a few Joashes make it through the mine-field of abortion, abuse, neglect, secularization, and brainwashing. The Lord will raise up these people to bring down the strongholds of the evil one (see 2 Cor 10:4) and lead the world to Christ.
I don't know God's plan, of course. And I likely wouldn't fully comprehend it if I did. But I trust in Him. And pray that more people come back to His loving grace.
God Bless you.