Republican or Democrat, ‘our God must win’: Bishop Jenky

Photo Caption: Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, told those attending the Red Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria on Oct. 19 that while we should love our country, “we should love Jesus even more.”

Whether we claim to be Republican or Democrat, “our ultimate loyalty and obedience must be to God, above all, and first of all,” Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, said at the Diocese of Peoria’s celebration of the Red Mass last Sunday at St. Mary’s Cathedral.

During the annual Mass, prayers are offered invoking the Holy Spirit’s guidance upon judges, lawyers, and all those serving in public office.

This year’s Mass came just weeks before the nation’s mid-term elections. And while Bishop Jenky didn’t mention the coming vote in his homily, he offered a ringing reminder that while Catholics should be good Americans, they should be even better Christians.

“We should love our country,” said Bishop Jenky, “but we should love Jesus Christ even more. And when it comes to a choice, there is no choice. Our God must always win.”

Basing his homily on the Gospel reading from Matthew where Jesus instructs to “repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God,” the bishop said that is a challenge Christians must consciously accept in today’s society.

“We live in the midst of an increasingly hostile culture,” said Bishop Jenky, “where self-centeredness is promoted, where gross materialism is celebrated, where sexual immorality is embraced, where hideous violence is glamorized, where abortion on demand and even the killing of babies in the process of being born into this world, all of these terrible evils are relentlessly defended in the almost Pravda-like uniformity of much of today’s mass media.”

“Our baptismal commitment is to pass on the Christian Gospel and all the liberating truths of our Catholic faith,” said the bishop. “Our witness should be out there for all to see, even when it is uncomfortable, even when it hurts!”

The Red Mass takes its name from the red vestments worn, symbolizing the Holy Spirit.

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