Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Words from Fr Ed (From April 29th Bulletin)
A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
Jesus gives us the example of what it is to truly love. Love cares for another regardless of the consequences to themselves. The good shepherd cares more for the sheep’s safety than their own. Of course this calls us beyond our natural sense of self-preservation. That’s not easy. We need Jesus’ love to live within us. We can’t do it on our own.
Fidelity to God is crucial here. We can have an idea about what is good and right, but only fidelity to the Father’s will can carry us through difficult times. Knowing what that will is makes it much more possible to carry it out. That’s why it is so important to frequently during the day ask, “What is your will, Lord?” He will show us if we ask.
Priests, parents, and other leaders need to consider this example of Our Lord and ask if we have lived up to His call. Love is sacrificial. May God give us ample supply of grace to respond to His leadership.
Congratulations to Our First Communicants!
This weekend we welcome many youngsters to their First Communion with Jesus’ Body and Blood. There is no greater gift for a Christian. Jesus promises us Eternal Life now when we receive Him a right disposition. These children have been well prepared by Shannon Battles, Pat Madison, Brenda Wallace and their team of teachers who have passed on the apostolic faith in Jesus’ true presence in the Eucharist. A little excerpt from St. Justin the Martyr, writing around 150 A.D., tells us how the first Christians considered the Holy Eucharist:
We do not consume the Eucharistic bread and wine as if it were ordinary food and drink, for we have been taught that as Jesus Christ our Savior became a man of flesh and blood by the power of the Word of God, as also the food that our flesh and blood assimilates for its nourishment becomes the flesh and blood of the incarnate Jesus by the power of his own words contained in the prayer of thanksgiving.
Let us rejoice with these children and their parents as they become living tabernacles of the Most High God. May the Holy Spirit guide them to continue in a way of life that reflects Christ’s presence within.
R-74 Referendum on Same-Sex ‘Marriage’
As you may know, Governor Gregoire has signed a bill that redefines marriage in the State of Washington. It will go into effect on June 7th unless enough signatures are gathered to place R-74 on the ballot for a public vote on the matter. That’s why our Bishops have encouraged us to gather signatures for this Referendum to occur in November.
Up until this moment, natural law, Divine Law as revealed in Scripture and Ecclesial Law have always recognized marriage as being between a man and a woman. I support this teaching and am happy to gather signatures that would protect this gift of God for humanity. As ‘life’ deserving our protection has been ‘redefined’ by government in 1973, so ‘marriage’ is now being redefined. As in the case of abortion, civil law can influence conscience formation and lead to disastrous results. I encourage you to support this Referendum, which will give you the right to vote on the matter.
I understand many of you have concerns both about compassion for those with same-sex attraction as well as the proximity of political issues and the Church. I’ll do my best to address some of these questions over the coming weeks. The first concern is addressed in part by the Archbishop in the letter we are including as an insert to this bulletin. The second concern has been addressed by the U.S. Bishops in various documents regarding ‘faithful citizenship’, including this latest one on the formation of conscience:
(Find at: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/faithful-citizenship/forming-consciences-for-faithful-citizenship-document.cfm.) Within this document on conscience it also addresses four questions:
(1) Why does the Church teach about issues affecting public policy?
(2) Who in the Church should participate in political life?
(3) How does the Church help the Catholic faithful to speak about political and social questions?
(4) What does the Church say about Catholic social teaching in the public square?
I hope that you will prayerfully consider what God is calling you to do in response to these troubling issues and concerns. He is Our Lord, Our Master, Our Savior, and true Governor. May Jesus guide us through the light of the Holy Spirit to follow Him in truth and love
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