Fr. Thomas Dufner said faith and freedom are “underlying themes of the incarnation” during a homily delivered on Christmas Eve.
Dufner, pastor of the Church of the Epiphany in Coon Rapids, Minnesota, said a person who has faith in the promises of Jesus “no longer fears death.”
“Instead of protecting the elderly, we pretend that everyone is at risk, and more and more freedoms seem to be slipping away,” said Dufner, referring to the coronavirus pandemic.
“They say that when things don’t add up, there’s something you don’t know. It’s that the truth is the first casualty of war,” he continued.
“We’ve changed our lives out of fear. Not out of pursuit for the good, the true and the beautiful, but out of fear. Fear of a disease from which 99.7 percent of the people will survive. Fear of a governor who has assumed control over our lives. Fear of even greater loss of liberty. We live under such heavy social restrictions that might be described as a soft form of martial law. Is our faith so weak that we will surrender our freedoms to save our skins?” added Dufner.
Dufner said our political freedoms are founded upon spiritual truths, which are “claimed by men and women who no longer fear death.”
“That’s the Christian message,” he said. “How do we enter into this spiritual freedom? We enter this spiritual freedom by baptism, and anyone can become a child of God by baptism. By confession, everyone can receive the forgiveness of his sins. Remember you are just one confession away from the mercy and the love of God. By mass and Holy Communion, where Jesus feeds us, and as members of Jesus Christ we share the promise of everlasting life, that death is not the end, that you and I should have no fear of death — not even from COVID-19.”