A Gospel according to Mt 22:34-40
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees,
they gathered together, and one of them,
a scholar of the law, tested him by asking,
"Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?"
He said to him,
"You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart,
with all your soul, and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole Law and the Prophets depend on these two commandments."
REFLECTION: "Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?"
The scholar is asking this question to any one of us today: "What is the greatest commandment?".
As we cast our votes, how are we answering?
And I do wonder, do all matters of justice weigh the same?
Is it the same level of evil to deny harbor to the immigrant as to kill the innocent? Do all the sins weigh the same or are there some that are more grave than others?
It is advisable not to endorse a candidate or policies that support or promote the five non-negotiables: Abortion, Euthanasia, Embryonic Stem Cell Research, Cloning, and Homosexual "Marriage".
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church 2272:
"Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. "A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae," 77 "by the very commission of the offense,"78 and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law.79 The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society."
What is "Formal Cooperation"? According the the Catechism of the Catholic Church 1868:
"Sin is a personal act. Moreover, we have a responsibility for the sins committed by others when we cooperate in them: - by participating directly and voluntarily in them; - by ordering, advising, praising, or approving them; - by not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation to do so; - by protecting evil-doers."
When we assist a person to commit or promote a sinful act, we might be cooperating in several degrees with this sin. See this GUIDE for further resources.
In a recent Pew Research, we see that most Catholics (about 77%) are more aligned with their political party than with Catholic teaching. This means that most of us vote or endorse persons or policies that promote values contrary to our faith such as abortion or homosexual marriage. They have fallen to some degree of formal or material cooperation in evil. Furthermore, one might even be excommunicated.
The evil of abortion kills a person, and harms the soul of all who cooperate in it.
I urge, if you have voted, supported, or promoted a person and/or policy that supports any of the five non-negotiables to approach the sacrament of reconciliation as soon as possible.
Pope St. John Paul II tells us in Evangelium Vitae:
"With the friendly and expert help and advice of other people, and as a result of your own painful experience, you can become the most eloquent defenders of everyone's right to life."
Jesus awaits in the confessional for all of us. Let us ask for His forgiveness, and ask Him to live in our hearts so we don't commit the same mistakes again.
Pax Cor Christi.