Pastoral Messages from Fr. Rick 1-9-21
In the first reading from Isaiah (42:1-4, 6-7) this Sunday:
Thus says the LORD: Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one with whom I am pleased, upon whom I have put my spirit; he shall bring forth justice to the nations, not crying out, not shouting, not making his voice heard in the street. a bruised reed he shall not break, and a smoldering wick he shall not quench, until he establishes justice on the earth; the coastlands will wait for his teaching.
I, the LORD, have called you for the victory of justice, I have grasped you by the hand; I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.
Isaiah’s proclamation of the suffering servant prefigures the coming of Jesus Christ the Messiah and the role the Messiah will play. Jesus then institutes the Church and calls Christians to follow and imitate Him. That means WE (who have received the Spirit) are supposed to be the ones to ‘bring forth justice to the nations’ and to be a ‘light in the darkness’. It’s difficult to imagine a more apropos message for this week. It’s rather easy to surmise that our democratic system is in dire need of improvements. We need more Wisdom and less ‘shouting’. Below are two of the major themes from Catholic Social Teaching which provide a good starting point for developing a social dialogue with sufficient depth to actually address our social needs and respond effectively. The Church is especially needed in these turbulent times and we all need to play our parts.
THEMES FROM CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING – from usccb.org
The Church’s social teaching is a rich treasure of wisdom about building a just society and living lives of holiness amidst the challenges of modern society. Modern Catholic social teaching has been articulated through a tradition of papal, conciliar, and episcopal documents. The depth and richness of this tradition can be understood best through a direct reading of these documents. In these brief reflections, we highlight several of the key themes that are at the heart of our Catholic social tradition.
CALL TO FAMILY, COMMUNITY, AND PARTICIPATION
The person is not only sacred but also social. How we organize our society—in economics and politics, in law and policy—directly affects human dignity and the capacity of individuals to grow in community. Marriage and family are the central social institutions that must be supported and strengthened, not undermined. We believe people have a right and a duty to participate in society, seeking together the common good and well-being of all, especially the poor and vulnerable.
RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The Catholic tradition teaches that human dignity can be protected and a healthy community can be achieved only if human rights are protected and responsibilities are met. Therefore, every person has a fundamental right to life and a right to those things required for human decency. Corresponding to these rights are duties and responsibilities—to one another, to our families, and to the larger society.
PLEASE Join us for Mass during the week. Along with the daily intention, we will be praying especially for peace in times of civil disturbance. Also, please say at least one rosary everyday for peace. The rosary is recited in the church every Monday morning after the 8:00 Mass.
ALSO. Please check out this year-long bible study with Fr. Mike Schmitz. He will read the Bible to you and give a little reflection. He is using the Great Adventure Salvation History Bible Study methodology of which many of you are familiar….