Faith of Our Fathers and the Battle Hymn of the Republic for the Third Sunday of Lent


ambroseFaith of our fathers, living still In spite of dungeon, fire and sword, O how our hearts beat high with joy Whene’er we hear that glorious word!

Faith of our fathers! Holy faith! We will be true to thee till death!

Our fathers, chained in prisons dark, Were still in heart and conscience free; and blest would be their children’s fate, If they, like them should die for thee: Faith of our fathers! holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death!

 

Faith of our fathers, we will strive to win all nations unto thee; and through the truth that comes from God Mankind shall then indeed be free.

Faith of our fathers! Holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death!

Faith of our fathers, we will love both friend and foe in all our strife, and preach thee, too, as love knows how by kindly words and virtuous life.

Faith of our fathers! Holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death!

Pope Francis UNThese words by Doctor Frederick William Faber, D.D express the meaning for the readings of the Third Sunday of Lent. “Moses said to God, “But when I go to the Israelites and tell them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ if they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what am I to tell them?” God replied, “I am who am.” Then he added, “This is what you shall tell the Israelites:
I AM sent me to you.” God spoke further to Moses, “Thus shall you tell the Israelites: The NAME, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob,
has sent me to you. “This is my name forever; am I to be remembered through all generations.”

God is the one who is. In Greek thinking, all else is accidents, things which can or cannot be. That includes each of us. God is the God of Abraham/E Pluribus Unum, the God of Isaac/the ones who cry out, and the God of Jacob/those who follow behind. God is the God of our Fathers.

Statue of liberty lighning strikeOur fathers, chained in prisons dark, were still in heart and conscience free; and blest would be their children’s fate, If they, like them should die for thee.

The NAME said, “I have witnessed the affliction of my people in Egypt//Mitzraim/Oppression and have heard their cry of complaint against their slave drivers, so I know well what they are suffering. Therefore I have come down to rescue them from the hands of the Egyptians and lead them out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey.”

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name. Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand glows worldwide welcome; her mild eyes command the air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. “Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she with silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

This is the faith of our Fathers, remembering the oppression of old, when we suffered the poverty and the civil wars of 19th Century Europe. God rescued us from over there to over here. We were chained in prisons dark.

ThanksgivingAll ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink, they drank from a spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was the Christ. God was not pleased with most of them, for they were struck down in the desert.

These things happened as examples for us, so that we might not desire evil things, as they did. Do not grumble as some of them did, and suffered death by the destroyer.

Faith of our fathers, we will strive to win all nations unto thee; and through the truth that comes from God Mankind shall then indeed be free.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat; He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat; Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! Be jubilant, my feet! Our God is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea, with a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me. As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free While God is marching on.

War horseThe words to our Battle hymn of the Republic, also written during the 19th Century echo the words for our readings for this Third Sunday of Lent. We remember the faith of our Fathers as they relate to dying and rising with Christ. Then, the Battle Hymn of the Republic. written for and about the Civil War, like “Faith of Our Fathers, “ commands us to be transfigured, to get out there and do something when we see suffering anywhere in the world, in particular in our back yard.

Faith of our fathers, we will love both friend and foe in all our strife, and preach thee, too, as love knows how by kindly words and virtuous life.

These things happened as examples for us, so that we might not desire evil things, as they did. Do not grumble as some of them did, and suffered death by the destroyer. These things happened to them as an example, and they have been written down as a warning to us, upon whom the end of the ages has come.

These things are an example for us. Instead of hating liberals or conservatives, democrats or republicans, let us strive to be one community, one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all. That is not the filthy rich, blacks or whites, Hispanics or Native Americans, but for all people.

Some people told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with the blood of their sacrifices. Jesus said to them in reply, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were greater sinners than all other Galileans? By no means! If you do not repent, you will all perish as they did! Or those eighteen people who were killed when the tower at Siloam/Sent Out fell on them. Do you think they were guiltier than everyone else who lived in Jerusalem/City of Peace? By no means! If you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!”

Why 18? Why not “Almost 20?” In Hebrew, letters and numbers use the same symbols. “Eighteen,” also spells “Life.” Our Gospel for this Sunday also tells us, “Do not point the finger at the other guy; strive to create a city of peace. It is for this that we are all Siloam/Apostolic from the Greek, sent out, to bring peace to our world. This is the message for the Third Sunday of Lent, and for our Songs for this day. Anything less is sin, and needs penance. Then again, this is Lent.

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