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Make America Great Again! I have heard this phrase recently quite frequently. And something tells me that we will be hearing a lot of phrases like that during an election year. So, since Church and politics do not (and should not) mix, here is how we can MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN (from an ecclesiastical perspective). First, to have a great country, we need great people. This is what makes a nation great. Great people are not just people who obey the law. A law abiding citizen can be one who does not break any rules but also contributes absolutely nothing to another or to society. It is difficult to define greatness; is it heroism, perseverance, humility, inventiveness, philanthropy? Or, even, most, maybe all of the above. All virtues crowned by faith, hope and love contribute to building a great character and developing greatness.

In a world that celebrates mediocrity, the very mention of greatness becomes offensive. We associate greatness with the acquisition of wealth. Yet, even a talentless person can play the lottery, become a billionaire and claim greatness. The person has not changed, but the perception has. In our society greatness is even associated with popularity. I do not want to name examples of persons who have attained vain glory but yet have little to contribute. Just turn on YouTube or the TV and the most popular channels will show you exactly what I am talking about.

So, what can make America great again? Can we give every citizen a few million dollars and a YouTube Channel with a few million views and then we can have a great country? I really do not think so. Start making America great by working on your own self and soul. Do not expect any politician to change your live, you are in control, under His divine providence. Do not rely on materialism or vain glory to offer you a pseudo feeling of accomplishment. Cultivate your heart, because the Bible reminds us “where your heart is, that is where your treasure is also.” In the process, you also cultivate your God-given talents for the glory of God and for the benefit of others as well. If you are a young intelligent person and have the gift of knowledge, acquire diplomas and excellence. Same with other gifts and talents.

Do not settle for mediocrity, especially in the spiritual arena. Strive for the greatness of the soul, holiness. This week, we celebrate two Saints who have received the eponym Great, Anthony and Athanasios. Read their lives and you will earn a new appreciation for true accomplishment of persons who have a positive impact on others and the world at large. Don’t just make America great, make the WORLD GREAT AGAIN!