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Rev. John A. Sistare

St. Catherine of Siena : 20th Sun. B, 8/20/2000

Are you a Pliny Pleaser?

In the early years of the Church, Christians were persecuted and it was not uncommon for many of them to be martyred for that belief. In the 2nd century there was a governor named Pliny who was ordered by the emperor to try the Christians and get them to denounce their faith. The trial would go something like this... "Are you a Christian?" Most Christians replied.... "Yes". Pliny then would ask again and inform them of their consequences of the answer yes, i.e death! He asked them again, and again some would respond, "Yes, I am a Christian." Pliny would ask a third and final time and put it all on the line for them. "If you answer yes again, I will have no choice then to have you killed." For the final time, the Christian would respond, "Yes." At that, they were sent off to be run through by the sword, burned at the stake, or used as a human torch to light the evening events in the stadium where their fellow Christians were being fed to the wild beasts. These early Christians were not Pliny pleasers! They were not interested in pleasing men by denouncing their faith in Christ. They were interested, rather, in pleasing God before any man on earth.

Are you a Pliny Pleaser?

Jesus was not a Pliny Pleaser! He was not a Pilate Pleaser! He was not a people pleaser! He was interested in only one thing. He came to bear witness to the Truth and glorify His Heavenly Father!!! In the Gospel we heard today, Jesus was not interested in paying lip service to the Jews before him. He said four times, "You must eat my flesh, drink my blood, and you will have eternal life." We always hear of people getting their Master’s degree, but today we have our Master’s decree! Four times he insisted on this truth and despite their unbelief and grumbling, he did not back down. He stood his ground and simply spoke the Truth, not worrying about pleasing the crowd or majority!!!! It was to important to convey the reality that it was necessary that they eat his Body and drink His Blood to have eternal life.

Are you a Pliny Pleaser?

I mention all this in light of the current election taking place. We have a lot of Pliny Pleasers around! People would rather please men then God first and foremost. Did you know that RI is said to be one of most Catholic States in the US, and thus we should have some of the most pro life candidates in office. Try again! We have some of the most pro abortion candidates in the US. In fact, we even have politicians, who claim to be Catholic, that see nothing wrong with the partial birth abortion procedure. This is appalling to think that we can receive the Body and Blood of Jesus, his very life and then go forth and be for the destruction of human life. Make no mistake about it, God is pro life. He is the Creator of all and Author of Life and even took on flesh and lived in a womb himself for nine months. So how can we have so many Catholics but yet such a pro abortion record in our State?

Here’s how the arguments go. "You can’t be a single issue person, Fr. Sistare. There are other issues like welfare, poverty, computers in school classrooms, etc..." You better believe it is a single issue! All issues fall under one issue, the basic right to life!!! All other issues presuppose that we first have our very life. Computers in the classroom makes no sense if we don’t have lives and people to put in those classrooms! This is why Our Holy Father, John Paul II has said that abortion must be the fundamental issue. It must be our priority in this election.

Then there are some who are saying, "Fr. Sistare, be careful, you are skating on thin ice speaking about politics and religion together." This is a religious issue, because it involves God, who is the Creator of all! It is also a political issue, since the very word, "politics" comes from "polis", which means for the people! However, first and foremost, this is a human issue!!! This is not between Republicans and Democrats or a Reform party. This is not a women vs. men issue. This involves all of us as human beings and as such is a human issue that must be a priority in this election. We have to have compassion on women and offer alternatives to abortion. We are pro women and pro child. However, we have to qualify what we are choosing. I love to have choices, but we have no right to choose to do harm or kill another person in the name of choice. This is a human issue and involves all of us.

My brothers and sisters, we are called to follow Jesus in the Gospel today and the early Christians who stood firm and were convicted in the Truth. We are called to please God first and foremost before any man! May we always seek to please God who offers his very life to us here at Mass. May we receive this life and go forth to share this life with others, especially defending the smallest of our brothers and sisters. Let us not be Pliny pleasers and please God first and foremost.

In the early years of the Church, Christians were persecuted and it was not uncommon for many of them to be martyred for that belief. In the 2nd century there was a governor named Pliny who was ordered by the emperor to try the Christians and get them to denounce their faith. The trial would go something like this... "Are you a Christian?" Most Christians replied.... "Yes". Pliny then would ask again and inform them of their consequences of the answer yes, i.e death! He asked them again, and again some would respond, "Yes, I am a Christian." Pliny would ask a third and final time and put it all on the line for them. "If you answer yes again, I will have no choice then to have you killed." For the final time, the Christian would respond, "Yes." At that, they were sent off to be run through by the sword, burned at the stake, or used as a human torch to light the evening events in the stadium where their fellow Christians were being fed to the wild beasts. These early Christians were not Pliny pleasers! They were not interested in pleasing men by denouncing their faith in Christ. They were interested, rather, in pleasing God before any man on earth.

Are you a Pliny Pleaser?

Jesus was not a Pliny Pleaser! He was not a Pilate Pleaser! He was not a people pleaser! He was interested in only one thing. He came to bear witness to the Truth and glorify His Heavenly Father!!! In the Gospel we heard today, Jesus was not interested in paying lip service to the Jews before him. He said four times, "You must eat my flesh, drink my blood, and you will have eternal life." We always hear of people getting their Master’s degree, but today we have our Master’s decree! Four times he insisted on this truth and despite their unbelief and grumbling, he did not back down. He stood his ground and simply spoke the Truth, not worrying about pleasing the crowd or majority!!!! It was to important to convey the reality that it was necessary that they eat his Body and drink His Blood to have eternal life.

Are you a Pliny Pleaser?

I mention all this in light of the current election taking place. We have a lot of Pliny Pleasers around! People would rather please men then God first and foremost. Did you know that RI is said to be one of most Catholic States in the US, and thus we should have some of the most pro life candidates in office. Try again! We have some of the most pro abortion candidates in the US. In fact, we even have politicians, who claim to be Catholic, that see nothing wrong with the partial birth abortion procedure. This is appalling to think that we can receive the Body and Blood of Jesus, his very life and then go forth and be for the destruction of human life. Make no mistake about it, God is pro life. He is the Creator of all and Author of Life and even took on flesh and lived in a womb himself for nine months. So how can we have so many Catholics but yet such a pro abortion record in our State?

Here’s how the arguments go. "You can’t be a single issue person, Fr. Sistare. There are other issues like welfare, poverty, computers in school classrooms, etc..." You better believe it is a single issue! All issues fall under one issue, the basic right to life!!! All other issues presuppose that we first have our very life. Computers in the classroom makes no sense if we don’t have lives and people to put in those classrooms! This is why Our Holy Father, John Paul II has said that abortion must be the fundamental issue. It must be our priority in this election.

Then there are some who are saying, "Fr. Sistare, be careful, you are skating on thin ice speaking about politics and religion together." This is a religious issue, because it involves God, who is the Creator of all! It is also a political issue, since the very word, "politics" comes from "polis", which means for the people! However, first and foremost, this is a human issue!!! This is not between Republicans and Democrats or a Reform party. This is not a women vs. men issue. This involves all of us as human beings and as such is a human issue that must be a priority in this election. We have to have compassion on women and offer alternatives to abortion. We are pro women and pro child. However, we have to qualify what we are choosing. I love to have choices, but we have no right to choose to do harm or kill another person in the name of choice. This is a human issue and involves all of us.

My brothers and sisters, we are called to follow Jesus in the Gospel today and the early Christians who stood firm and were convicted in the Truth. We are called to please God first and foremost before any man! May we always seek to please God who offers his very life to us here at Mass. May we receive this life and go forth to share this life with others, especially defending the smallest of our brothers and sisters. Let us not be Pliny pleasers and please God first and foremost.

Priests for Life
PO Box 141172 • Staten Island, NY 10314
Tel. 888-735-3448, (718) 980-4400 • Fax 718-980-6515
mail@priestsforlife.org