Your “God” is Dead
“But Mom, do I have to go? It’s so boring.” Luke asked.
Lacey chimed in, “Yeah Mom, why can’t Luke and I stay home?”
“Now you know how important it is to your Father and I that we spend time together as a family, so yes, you do have to go. Now go get dressed.” Mom replied, exasperated.
They piled into the van, and drove to their 1970’s art deco inspired suburban Catholic parish for what appeared to be another Sunday. They went into the church, dipping their pinky fingers into the holy water fount at the back of the church, and with a quick jerk of their one knee, slipped into their usual pew. The rest of the church filled up with people, doing the exact same thing, and they too sat in their respective pews. Two young altar girls came out from the sacristy and quickly prepared the sanctuary for Mass. They looked so cute in their albs, standing on their tip-toes to light the candles on either side of the altar. They made sure they waved to their friends before they went back to the sacristy. The people in the pews were turned to one another in conversation, waiting for Mass to begin. The folk band at the front was busy shuffling pages. The sound of guitars being tuned could be heard over the speakers. A lector then stood up and went to the pulpit. Grabbing the mic with a slight screech pulled it to where his voice could be best heard. He gave a heart-filled welcome to the parishioners and visitors. He then stated that there was one major announcement.
“Today, we have chosen to celebrate something different. Instead of using the normal Catholic Liturgical Calendar, we have decided to celebrate “Our Personal Jesus, Day”. Today, we celebrate the Jesus we believe in.”
The congregation burst into applause. No one appeared to be surprised or bothered.
“Today, the Jesus we will worship will be the real loving Jesus we all believe He is,” the lector continued. “Each of us have a different version, and that is quite all right. No need to worry about those harsh rules or commandments from the Dark Ages. God loves us! We don’t have to worry about God “judging” us. This is a celebration of faith. Faith that God does not care what we do, but that He loves us as we are. We are catholics but it does not really matter what you believe, as long as you believe in something and believe in yourself. We believe that it is important to care for people, especially those whose rights are threatened. Today, we celebrate whatever sexual orientation God gave you. It does not matter what you do, or how you live, because He loves you anyway. Today, we celebrate our human freedom. So please rise, and join the band in the opening song.”
As everyone stood up in their pews, a feminine voice yelled from the back of the Church. “No! There is one more announcement!”
A beautiful 13 year old girl walked up the center aisle. No one had seen her before. She was dressed in a gorgeous blue dress, with beautiful curly brown hair, laden with a white lace mantilla. She went up the aisle and genuflected toward the tabernacle in the corner, which the rest of the congregation had paid no attention to. She stood at the front of the church, but did not enter the sanctuary. Though small, this young girl held fire in her eyes and was gorgeous. The congregation sat back down and looked in silence at this young girl. They wondered where this young girl’s parents were and who she was. She stood and looked through the crowd. It felt like she looked every parishioner in the eye.
She then said again in a loud and clear voice, “There is another announcement, and it is more important than the first. My friends, your God is dead!”
The tension in the room was almost instantly felt but the young girl continued:
“How do I know your “God” is dead? I know it because your “God” can’t tell you what to do. Instead of being your Father and someone you obey, you have made him your personal puppet to do your bidding. Your “God” says what you want him to say, and feels the way you want him to feel. No, your “God” is not the True and Living God. The true and living God gave us the commandments so that we could become who we are meant to be in Him, not to be whatever we choose to be apart from him. The Father sent His Son, not so we could do whatever we feel like, but that in dying for us, we could live with God in union with Him forever. That union, however, comes with some very real conditions which He makes abundantly clear. Disobeying those commands also have dire consequences. Jesus also gave us His Church to lead us into the freedom which He offers us. He gave the Church the duty to defend the Truth and to proclaim it. The commandments of God and the laws of the Church are there to form us into Saints. Let’s face it, brothers and sisters, if your “personal Jesus” is not telling you what to do and making you uncomfortable with your sin, you are not praying to Jesus, but praying to yourself. Your “God” is not God. You have dressed up yourself as God in your own mind, but the masquerade is over. Your “God” is dead.”
The priest came out of the sacristy and began to walk toward her. She held up her hand and motioned him to stop and she pointed to the Tabernacle and said, “Inside that Tabernacle is the real and true God; the lover of your soul that you ignore and desecrate with the mortal sin in your bodies. He is waiting for you to repent and to obey His loving commands. All you have to do is confess your sins in the Sacrament of Confession and you’ll be truly free to do what is right and good. Come back to Him. He is the true and living God and He is waiting for you.”
The young girl turned, bowed to the altar, and genuflected toward the tabernacle in the corner, and peacefully began to walk down the aisle. The congregation yelled at her as she went. “Who do you think you are,” they yelled. “You bigot!” She piously smiled, and reaching into the holy water fount, wet her fingers, and turning again to the tabernacle genuflected again, and exited the church. As she left, the priest, dressed in green, with a rainbow stole around his neck, ran to the back of the church, cell phone in hand, ready to call the police. She was gone, however. The priest then waved to the band to get everyone to stand, and their celebration began.
Luke sat as his sister, mother, and father stood and clapped to the music. He was seated at the end of the pew, and silently stood up, and walked out of the church. His parents were too busy clapping and moving to the music to notice him leave. He went sat on a bench on the church’s grounds and pondered what he had just seen. He looked up to the sky, and doing the sign of the Cross, closed his eyes, and prayed for the first time in a long time:
“Lord, I’m sorry for pretending you’re someone you are not. Please forgive me. I commit to seek you for real, and to obey what you ask. Amen.”
He crossed himself and opened his eyes to find himself in his bed. It was all a dream. His mom burst into his room and said, “Honey, wake up, it’s time to get ready for Mass”.
He looked at her and asked, “Why?”
She replied, “Because it is what we do every Sunday, you know that. Now get ready.”
Luke responded, “Mom, listen. I’m going to Mass today because God wants me to be there.”
His mother smirked and closed the door. As he swung his legs around, he heard something hit the floor. He reached down and felt something cold. It was a silver miraculous medal that his Catholic grandmother had given him when he made his first communion. As he picked it up, he looked at it and realized that the figure of Mary on the medal looked familiar. He then realized, the young girl in his dream was the same girl on the medal.