GET YOUR OWN DIRT
Rev. John Kha Tran
Chủ đề: “Fix in your heart, that the Lord is God in the heavens above and on earth below, and that there is no other.”
A group of scientists were all sitting around discussing which one of them was going to go to God and tell him that they didn’t need him anymore. One of the scientists volunteered and went to tell God he was no longer needed.
The scientist says to God, “God, you know a bunch of us have been thinking and I’ve come to tell you that we really don’t need you anymore. I mean, we’ve been coming up with great theories and ideas; we’ve cloned sheep, and were on the verge of cloning humans. So as you can see, we really don’t need you.”
God nods understandingly and says, “I see. Well, no hard feelings. But before you go, let’s have a contest. What do you think?”
The scientist says, “Sure. What kind of contest?”
God suggests, “A man-making contest.”
The scientist bends down and picks up a handful of dirt and says, “Okay, I’m ready!”
God replies, “No, no, no . . . You go get your own dirt. You cannot use mine.”
Marilyn Adamson, who used to be an atheist, explains in her article, “Is There a God?” that scientists are convinced that our universe began with one enormous explosion of energy and light, which we now call the Big Bang. This was the singular start to everything that exists: the beginning of the universe, the start of space, and even the initial start of time itself. But they do not want to attribute that Big Bang to God. The Book of Genesis already gave us the explanation of the origin of the world, but many scientists do not want to accept that explanation.
Astrophysicist Robert Jastrow, a self-described agnostic, stated, "The seed of everything that has happened in the Universe was planted in that first instant; every star, every planet and every living creature in the Universe came into being as a result of events that were set in motion in the moment of the cosmic explosion... The Universe flashed into being, and we cannot find out what caused that to happen."
The universe has not always existed. It had a start...what caused that? Scientists have no explanation for the sudden explosion of light and matter. Much of life may seem uncertain, but look at what we can count on day after day: gravity remains consistent, a hot cup of coffee left on a counter will get cold, the earth rotates in the same 24 hours, and the speed of light doesn't change -- on earth or in galaxies far from us. How is it that we can identify laws of nature that never change? Why is the universe so orderly, so reliable for millions or billions of years?
"The greatest scientists have been struck by how strange this is. There is no logical necessity for a universe that obeys rules, let alone one that abides by the rules of mathematics. This astonishment springs from the recognition that the universe doesn't have to behave this way. Richard Feynman, a Nobel Prize winner for quantum electrodynamics, said, "Why nature is mathematical is a mystery...The fact that there are rules at all is a kind of miracle." The complexity of our planet points to a deliberate Designer who not only created our universe, but sustains it today. Let’s look at the Earth. Its size is perfect. The Earth's size and corresponding gravity holds a thin layer of mostly nitrogen and oxygen gases, only extending about 50 miles above the Earth's surface. If Earth were smaller, an atmosphere would be impossible, like the planet Mercury. If Earth were larger, its atmosphere would contain free hydrogen, like Jupiter. Earth is the only known planet equipped with an atmosphere of the right mixture of gases to sustain plant, animal and human life.
The Earth is located the right distance from the sun. Consider the temperature swings we encounter, roughly -30 degrees to +120 degrees. If the Earth were any further away from the sun, we would all freeze. Any closer and we would burn up. Even a fractional variance in the Earth's position to the sun would make life on Earth impossible. The Earth remains this perfect distance from the sun while it rotates around the sun at a speed of nearly 67,000 mph. It is also rotating on its axis, allowing the entire surface of the Earth to be properly warmed and cooled every day.
And our moon is the perfect size and distance from the Earth for its gravitational pull. The moon creates important ocean tides and movement so ocean waters do not stagnate, and yet our massive oceans are restrained from spilling over across the continents.
There Is a God
As Christians and catholics, we could be sure of God's existence by reason, by observation and by revelation. St. Thomas Aquinas argues that from the principle of effect to cause that whatever is moved is moved by something else, and that an infinite series of moving agents is impossible. There must be an unmoved mover. That unmoved mover is God. From this we can know that God exists but we cannot comprehend what God is. So we need revelation to tell us more about God.
Revelation tells us that God created everything in the universe from the beginning. Then He created man and woman and entrusted to them everything he had created. “Let’s make man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creep upon earth” (Gen 1:26).
St. John explains at the beginning of his Gospel, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race.” In addition, Jesus is the revelation of God. He says to Philip, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father . . . I am in the Father and the Father is in me” (Jn 14:9-11). In the Gospel reading today we hear Jesus giving his command, “Go and make disciples of the all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Mtt 28:19-20). God reveals to the people of Israel as well as to us in the first reading today, “You must know, and fix in your heart, that the Lord is God in the heavens above and on earth below, and that there is no other. You must keep his statutes and commandments . . .” (Deut 4:39-40).
Clearly God wants to be known. God created the universe for us with the intention that we would know him. He has surrounded us with evidence of himself and he keeps the question of his existence squarely before us. There is only One God, and there is no other. He alone should we worship. No one and no government or any regime on earth has the authority to make us worship other gods. No one has the authority to force us to violate God’s commands. We have the right to worship God. And we have the mission to let our government and all nations of the world know that there is only One God in the heavens above and on earth below, and that there is no other. This faith should be fixed in our hearts.
This is the reason twelve different lawsuits were filed by forty three different Catholic organizations in the U. S. Federal courts as an effort to preserve our Religious Freedom to worshop the One True God. It is one of our fundamental Human rights. The lawsuit states that: “This lawsuit is about one of America’s most cherished freedoms: the freedom to practice one’s religion without government interference. It is not about whether people have a right to abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception. Those services are freely available in the United States, and nothing prevents the Government itself from making them more widely available. Here, however, the Government seeks to require Plaintiffs—all Catholic entities—to violate their sincerely held religious beliefs by providing, paying for, and/or facilitating access to those products and services. American history and tradition, embodied in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”), safeguard religious entities from such overbearing and oppressive governmental action. Plaintiffs therefore seek relief in this Court to protect this most fundamental of American rights.
It is important for us to do what God is telling us to do, “Fix in your heart, that the Lord is God in the heavens above and on earth below, and that there is no other. You must keep his statutes and commandments that I enjoin on you today, that you and your children after you may prosper, and that you may have long life on the land which the Lord, your God, is giving you forever (Deut 4:39-40). And ““Go and make disciples of the all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.