“The Parish is where the Church lives. Parishes are communities of faith, of action and of hope. They are where the Gospel is proclaimed and celebrated, where believers are formed and sent to renew the earth. Parishes are the place where God’s people meet Jesus in word and sacrament and come in touch with the source of the church’s life.”
— American Bishop’s Pastoral Letter, 1993
(1 Corinthians 1:10-13,17) It is well known that Christians have abortions at about the same rate as non-Christians. Unfortunately it is rare that someone contemplating an abortion comes to me before the fact. It is only years later, if at all, that the aborted child’s mother, almost always the mother, comes seeking healing. The cases […]
The Assumption: This Friday we celebrate the Feast of the Assumption. Please check this bulletin for Mass schedule. This feast celebrates Mary being assumed body and soul into heaven at the end of her natural life. The doctrine does not define whether or not she died prior to be assumed. The Orthodox do not celebrate the Assumption. They do, however, have a similar feast called the Dormition. The Orthodox believe that Mary was assumed into heaven three days after her natural death. This does not conflict with the Roman Catholic doctrine. ‘Three days after’ could easily be considered ‘at the end of her natural life’. I consider this similarity in Church teachings an affirmation of the Holy Spirit’s guidance of the Church. East and West have been separated for more than a thousand years. The way we practice the faith has become considerably different. Our doctrines, however, remain nearly identical and where slightly different can be easily reconciled. I cannot see this happening with purely human institutions. God is with us, not just having left us the scriptures and a deposit of faith, but continuing to guide us and refresh us in the traditions and leadership of the Church.
Readings for next week: Isaiah 56:1,6-7; Romans 11:13-15,29-32; Matthew 15:21-28
Reflection: Mercy is among the many gifts through which God works to unite all people. The same mercy which God shows to Abraham is given equally to all the generations to follow. We are all objects of God’s mercy, Jews and Gentiles alike. We share God’s mercy with people of other places and through our children with people of other times. Paul speaks of the mercy we have received as both the means and the justification for God’s mercy to all. His mercy to us is our reason for being merciful to others. What was once received by the Jews is now offered to the Gentiles. What we have received through Christ must now be offered to those who do not yet know him Through others, God’s mercy has come to us. It is through us that God shows his mercy to all others.
1. Consider the difference between mercy and forgiveness.
2. Notice someone who is not often included in group activities. Make them welcome.
Prayer: Father, your mercy extends through all generations to every time, every place, and every people. May we be instruments of your mercy, putting an end to all that divides us from those you call us to love.