Fr. Rick’s Pastoral Messages 7-3-22
“We have no Government armed with Power capable of contending with human Passions unbridled by morality and Religion. Avarice, Ambition, and Revenge or Gallantry, would break the strongest Cords of our Constitution as a Whale goes through a Net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other” From John Adams to Massachusetts Militia, 11 October 1798, Founders Online, National Archives, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Adams/99-02-02-3102.
Our Constitution requires “sufficient virtue among men for self-government,” otherwise, “nothing less than the chains of despotism can restrain them from destroying and devouring one another.” James Madison, The Federalist Papers.
‘Unlocking the Mystery of the Bible’: We will continue our study this Thursday, July 7 at 8:40 AM with Session 7. Questions? Ask Fr. Rick.
Hospitality: Remember that we are a ‘Hospitality Parish’ with a major outreach to our many visitors. Please sign up to help host our Sunday morning Coffee and Muffin gathering. Sign up list is in the gathering space.
The local CARE and SHARE needs your empty egg cartons. Please bring them to the social hall and we will get them to the right place.
Fr. Rick’s fuller homily is on our website….. usually.
Homily Reflection: The Kingdom of God is at hand for you!!
Wow, this sounds like something brand new! Especially coming from Jesus spoken to a desperate, oppressed and confused people. We might expect that everything changed at that point. Since Jesus was God and God has the power to change things dramatically anytime He desires, surely EVERYTHING changed. Not exactly. Those who believed in the true identity of Jesus and then followed (imitated) Him were changed enormously.
Later, of course He instituted the Eucharist, named Peter the head of the Church which would prevail against Hell itself until Jesus returned. He sent the Holy Spirit and endowed us with the very gifts of God’s Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge, Piety, Counsel, Strength and pure AWE at His incomprehensible reality. He did this for our FREEDOM which was ours for the taking if we were His faithful followers.
The Kingdom of God is the final stage of earthly reality. It’s like a different dimension although it’s the true reality we all yearn for and for which we were made (recalling Paul’s Letter to the Galatians from last week). In fact, recall that during the celebration of the Mass we are existing in eternal time and should have a profound sense of already ‘having a foot’ in Heaven. If we cultivate those gifts of the Holy Spirit we can build a more heavenly space while still on earth for the generations to come. That’s God’s promise.
Think of the group of people with whom we spend most of the 177 hours each week that we are not in Sunday Mass. How many developed conversations have we had with them over the past two months about THE KINGDOM OF GOD, THE EUCHARIST, and THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT?
Is any of that real? Does it matter? Who do we really depend on to ensure our FREEDOM and the FREEDOM of the most vulnerable? If it’s not the authority and the wisdom of the Church, then who is it? Who can we really trust? Maybe on this weekend of recalling the great efforts and sacrifices of those (terribly imperfect) people who have served the cause of our FREEDOM, we could press our loved ones for a new series of good conversations about the source of our Truth and Values and Morality.
God, source of all freedom, this day is bright with the memory of those who declared that life and liberty are your gift to every human being. Help us to continue a good work begun long ago. Make our vision clear and our will strong: that only in human solidarity will we find liberty, and justice only in the honor that belongs to every life on earth. Turn our hearts toward the family of nations: to understand the ways of others, to offer friendship, and to find safety only in the common good of all. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Source: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops