Our citizens have witnessed three mass shootings within one week. The trauma and suffering are incalculable for the victims, their families and the communities where these events took place. These overwhelming events bring not only sorrow and sadness upon us all but also a troubling wonder about where things are heading in our nation and world. I highly encourage you to read Archbishop Chaput’s column on all of this. You can access it at www.catholicphilly.com or the archdiocesan webpage at www.archphil.org .
Violence, lack of respect for persons and for human life from conception, a turning away from God and God’s place within civil society wells up from many differing sources and even many differing ideologies. Our country was founded with a profound belief and respect for the Almighty, the Creator who endows human beings with certain unalienable rights ~ life, liberty, pursuit of happiness. The order of these is most noteworthy and, of course, they require, even demand, discipline from us all.
In the face of the unremitting violence against life on every level, (and at all stages of life), we have been encouraged by our Bishops to be instruments that move our country toward preventative action. They ask us to commit to increased prayer and personal sacrifices for healing, for ending such attacks, and addressing the root causes of violence to protect innocent human life.
Our readings last weekend focused on the proper use of the things and goods of this world so as not to become entrapped by greed and to be able to embrace the divine goods such as mercy, justice, love, truth. These connect us directly with God and are treasures stored up in heaven. In an affluent and such a self-focused culture, we need to heed the wisdom of Scripture more intently, more directly, more consciously, more enthusiastically.
May we intentionally draw closer to Jesus Christ and increase our prayers and our personal sacrifices for our nation, our fellow citizens, our Church, for all victims and all who suffer, so as to help bring an end to all forms of violence present among us. May we all come to rejoice in the bountiful gifts which God gives so generously to all who seek Him.
Finally, this past Friday/Saturday, we welcomed several of our Seminarians cycling for vocations. It was a blessing to meet, listen and pray with these dedicated young men seeking to grow closer to Jesus and one day to be His priests serving God’s people. Please keep all our Seminarians, and all those being called by the Lord, in your good prayers! And don’t forget Mass for the holy day, the Feast of the Assumption of our Lady, this Thursday. Masses at 6:30, 9 am, 12:05 and 7 pm.
God bless you, God love you,