You shall love…your neighbor as yourself
Jesus often emphasizes this command as a centerpiece of His New Covenant. It is not something that he was unwilling to do. As we repeat the words of Christ in the Mass,
“Take this all of you and drink from it: this is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven. Do this in memory of me.”
Jesus’ example of self-giving love stands forever as the ultimate love of neighbor. When we try to imitate Him, we realize that we are incapable of it. Only God can give us such grace and love. He gives us the same strength in the Mass when we receive Him worthily. The same love with which he loved us, even in his death, is the love he gives us in the Eucharist. It is there that we are restored and filled for another week of loving. The world, the flesh, and the devil can drain us, but Christ fills us to overflowing.
One great way in which our teens express Christ’s love is by serving those most in need in the Yakima area each summer. We send two 20+ member teams each, in the next two weeks, to work in the mission that Young Neighbors in Action operates. Our youth join up with a hundred youth from around the United States in learning the Social Doctrine of the Church. According to the U.S. Bishops, the basic themes of this Doctrine are:
Sanctity of human life and dignity of the person
Call to family, community, and participation
Rights and responsibilities
Preferential Option for the poor and vulnerable
Dignity of work and the rights of workers
Care for God's creation
These principles call us to a radical love of neighbor that Jesus taught us. Please pray that our youth learn these well and are able to help renew God’s Church with these life-giving teachings.
What is Chastity?
I had hoped to continue on the subject of chastity, but am running out of space. I will come back to it as I feel it is so crucial in our day. Impurity is rampant and we Christians need to arm ourselves. Our youth are especially vulnerable. For the time being I will leave you with a good website where one can learn more about John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, http://www.tobforteens.com/default.asp.
Welcome to Fr. Kokol!
Fr. Juan Carlos (‘Kokol’) should be arriving before this weekend from Honduras. Fr. Kokol served as pastor for the local church that includes Nuevo Paraiso, where we normally stay when on mission there. While he does not speak much English yet, I hope you have the chance to meet him and welcome him during his visit of several weeks.
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