Moment in the Word

"These are spots in their banquets, feasting together without fear, feeding themselves, clouds without water, which are carried about by winds, trees of the autumn, unfruitful, twice dead, plucked up by the roots, 13Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own confusion; wandering stars, to whom the storm of darkness is reserved for ever (Jude 1:12-13, Douay-Rheims Bible)."
I recently lost a good friend who always did his very best to be community minded, thoughtfully caring for others, diligently responsible for his own health and that of his family, but sadly he died anyway... unable to find an available hospital bed because of a national surge of sick people who did absolutely nothing to protect themselves or anyone else. To make their offense worse, many of these negligent shirkers militantly boasted of their noncompliance, unwilling to protect others in the slightest way. They claimed obstinance as a constitutional right, at least until they became sick due to their brazen ignorance and then demanded treatment at everyone's expense. They were blissfully oblivious to the weakened economy, exhausted healthcare workers, and gridlocked hospital systems... just as long as no expectation for the "greater good" was placed on them.
St. Jude also mentioned these unsightly individuals who gathered together without fear, only concerned with serving themselves. Like wispy clouds unable to rain or fruitless autumn trees, they constantly took without giving in return, dead to both God and their fellow man. Always raging and spewing meaningless confusion like storm-tossed waves dredging the murky deep, these wandering stars inhabited the outer darkness, void of any beneficial function or set plan. Guided by their warped imagination, they destroyed themselves and vouched that God approved (Jude 1:8)!
Yes, you've seen them, and I have too. In our religious communities, these are the same ones who stubbornly huddle together with their obnoxious associates, refusing to social distance or mask for the sake of weaker members in the Body of Christ. These rogues defiantly protest any new protective measure if the change inconveniences them. Malignantly, they pout and glare... defying both divine and civil authority, come what may.
But where have the days gone when the highest form of American patriotism was citizenship rather than a self-absorbed preoccupation with merely "me, my exclusive rights, and what I want?" Have we totally forgotten two of the most noble admonitions ever given to mankind, "Treat others the way you want to be treated," and "Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country?" This is who we once were but tragically are no more!
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