Mentioning the Obvious?

06-19-2016From Our PastorFr. Brian Jazdzewski

I think the topics of terrorism, violence, homosexuality, bigotry, racism and the like are the fodder for many pastoral articlesand sermons for obvious reasons. At the risk of jumping on the bandwagon with religious leaders across our country andaround the globe, there are some thoughts I’d like to share on the matter. The thoughts harken back to the words of ourChristian shepherd and His two principle laws: LOVE God above all things; LOVE your neighbor as you love yourself. Somehow, the more we think we know about love, the more we seem to drift away from what our Lord intended.

Then, as American Christian Catholics, we need to throw patriotism into the mix. As citizens of a nation with the greatest Constitution on planet earth, we sometimes lack in reflecting our support for one another. Somehow, some of us have used more energy to attack one another than to attack real threats to our well-being. Our ears do not need to be really clean to hear some of the comments and judgments made about Americans which do a lot to create division.

As a consequence, we lose the focus of fighting against the real threat which has little to do with people and a lot to do with the supernatural. Some of us find ourselves better off because we dedicate regular moments of our day to prayer; real conversation with God about the challenges we face. God always wants us to turn to Him, no matter how ugly life gets around us. Sometimes it seems that we turn further away from God through our lifestyle and then wonder why awful things happen. As disciples, we quickly realize our God is present in our lives, in all circumstances, no matter how great the challenge we find ourselves in. The answer to these difficult times is not tolerance, acceptance, personal morality, individual ethics, moral relativity and the like.

The answer is discovered in a radical return to the lifestyle our God has written upon our hearts. Faithfulness to Him and the teachings we discover in His Church. Again, we turn our ears to the voice of Pope Francis who calls us to embrace an Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. These days, weeks and months are provides for us to embrace the divine mercy of God and dispense His mercy toward others. Most of us find pointing fingers and proposing solutions to cultural problems to become rather easy. Some of that most of us finds admitting our own sin to be a real challenge. The point of return to the lifestyle God desires for us is not as important as the fact that we return to the Lord. Then we fall, and return to Him again, closer than we were before we fell. The darkening of our culture ought to tip some of us off to the need to focus on the light of Christ. And, as instruments of that light, we are chosen to share the light with others. May your adherence to the Gospel aid you in being a champion of hope and peace, all the while standing for the values of the Gospel.