“But the laity likewise share in the priestly, prophetic, and royal office of Christ and therefore have their own share in the mission of the whole people of God in the Church and in the world.
They exercise the apostolate in fact by their activity directed to the evangelization and sanctification of men and to the penetrating and perfecting of the temporal order through the spirit of the Gospel.” DECREE ON THE APOSTOLATE OF THE LAITY, POPE PAUL VI ON NOVEMBER 18, 1965
We have one job. One job!
The women and men of the Church basically have one general apostolic mission in this world. The laity are to sanctify the temporal order by the example and work of our lives.
We go places that our priests do not. We live alongside people who have never met a sister or religious. We work with people who have never stepped foot in a church—and even some who emphatically never hope to. We are the ones without Roman collars or habits who are engaging in the world and all its worldly ways all day, every day.
The temporal order is our natural habitat. It is where we live, where we learn, where we teach, where we work, where we recreate, and where we vote.
When we see the world is a mess, we know keenly that it is our mess. Christ, our head, has made us His Body to bring His Redemption to our fallen world. It’s our mess also to clean up.
We have what Pope St. Paul VI calls “a right and duty” to engage in an apostolate of “penetrating and perfecting” the world around us. It’s our one job. Any measure of holiness we have been given is to make this world more holy.
The world we are meant to penetrate and perfect includes our politics, maybe even especially our political parties. Both of them. All of them. Red, blue, green, and everything in between.
In these days leading up to our United States elections in the very messy world of 2020, we are in prime positions to see the flaws. All of them. They are myriad. Our politics are divisive. Our priorities are confused. And our people are suffering the perennial sickness of sin.
This is our time.
Right or Left, Republicans or Democrats–we have a mission. We are called to make this country—our political system included—look more like the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.
That is the single issue.
This is not mere sentiment. This is the God-given right and noble duty of every baptized Christian on the face of the earth.
Look around at the temporal order of your preferred politics. Are your fellow Democrats defending the sanctity of life for the nearly million unborn babies aborted every year in our country? Are your fellow Republicans speaking about the dignity of immigrants who seek prosperity and freedom in our country? Are your fellow Democrats interested in respect for religious liberty? Are your fellow Republicans concerned for our natural environment? Do any of their social media posts do anything to proclaim the Gospel message of love over hate, compassion over revenge, and mercy over contempt for the other side? No?
It’s on you. You speak. You show interest. Proclaim loudly the dogma of the Christ who lives in you. Transform the fabric of the temporal order you have chosen in your political affiliation. If you don’t want to change parties, change your party from within. Anything less is abdication for the Christian.
Whether your yard is marked with a sign for Biden or your car is marked with a sticker for Trump, your soul is indelibly marked for Jesus Christ. We are meant to “build up the Church, sanctify the world, and give it life in Christ.”
Let’s do our job!