A REMINDER: In union with Pope Francis we are beginning a program of education in the field of Social Justice. Our Social Action Committee is offering four seminars that reflect the Pope’s vision of the Evangelizing Church. The first seminar on the “Common Good” is being presented on Wednesday, April 24th after the Peace Mass. Our guest speaker and facilitator will be Mr. Michael Laskey from the Diocesan Social Justice Center. Please make every effort to attend this very worthwhile and pertinent subject.
As a nation we were again appalled by the destruction of innocent life at the Boston Marathon and we are moved to sorrow and anger. Through these terroristic attacks we are forced to join the world community who each day are also victimized by the violent. For many life is “cheap commodity” that is and can be used to destroy the most innocent among us from the child in the womb to the elderly in a nursing home. We live the fragility and capriciousness of life and death every day. All the more reason to listen to the voice of the Shepherd who leads us “to safe pastures” and challenges us to be people of forgiveness and healing. If all we have is anger or hopelessness then we are not hearing the voice of the Shepherd who in the Beatitudes gives us the antidote for the violence that afflicts the world.
Human rights monitors estimate that 150,000 Christians die for their faith each year. That’s 17 every hour. “The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (Jn 10:11) Jesus did this on the cross. Jesus was and is both the Good Shepherd and the Lamb sacrificed for us. How many robes are soiled by sin made white in the blood of the Lamb? How do we show gratitude for Jesus’ sacrificial love? The answer is to read and live the first reading of today’s Mass and practice it with your family, church and friends.
Words of Wisdom: No matter what you’ve done for yourself or for humanity, if you can’t look back on having given love and attention to your own family, what have you really accomplished?
As I write this the Cardinals are having lunch in Rome and getting ready for the first round of votes for our new Pontiff. I trust that by the time you read this we will know who the new Pope is and that like the Cardinals we will all make an oath of allegiance to him. Certainly the Lord has been purifying, chastising and healing His church so that it will be strong enough to withstand the many challenges that it will face in the coming age. It is time to remember that we belong to Christ and to rejoice in this fact and gift.
We must always remember we are the Church of Jesus Christ and though we follow no “man” we do follow the Lord’s “Chosen One”. As Americans we have a belief that everything should be done democratically but this is not the way Christ set up his Church, He set it up as a “Benevolent Monarchy” with Himself as King and the Pope as the “chief steward”. As King, Jesus has the right to demand total obedience even to the point of death; this is why the Cardinals wear “red”. It symbolizes their willingness to die for the faith. It may be a good idea if everyone wore some red everyday to show our willingness to die for Christ.
We are quickly coming to the end of the Lenten Season. If we are to rise with Christ, we must also die with Christ. It is not too late to be cleansed in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, celebrate the daily Eucharist, pray the Stations of the Cross and the Rosary and use the tools Jesus gave us during His forty days in the desert to resist the devil and personal sin. Scripture reminds us that these tools are: fasting, prayer and alms giving.
The bottom line asks the question. This Easter are you going to celebrate and rejoice with the Risen Christ or hop around with the Easter Bunny and return to the decadent life you lived before Lent began. I see a lot spiritual rust on our parish, it’s time to clean up, straighten up and be Catholic Christians, proud of our heritage and our mission.
See the Bulletin for the many rust cleansing exercises we have.