14th Sunday of Ordinary Time – What is our Catholic “mission statement?”
How many organizations or groups do you know that have a “mission statement?” Probably a fair number. Even our parish has its own “mission statement.” (Check the front cover of the bulletin.) Today’s Gospel gives us the “mission statement” of the early Church, as Jesus instructs the apostles as they prepare to go out in pairs to many towns in the area. This was like a training mission for the disciples to learn to do what Jesus had been doing in Galilee, proclaiming “The Kingdom of God is at hand.”
The “mission statement” for us is still basically the same; namely, that Jesus has come and established a new way of living – loving God and loving your neighbor. And then we proclaim that Jesus is our Lord and Savior who died on the cross to save us from our sins and rose from the dead to give us new life now and eternal life to come. When was the last time you talked about this basic Christian message to anyone? If you have done it recently, you were evangelizing. You were carrying out the “mission statement” of the Church. Congratulations! The Lord must be pleased with you!
Independence Day – 4TH of July
Our great nation of the United States of America had its beginning on this date 246 years ago, as our political ancestors risked their lives and signed the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia. This holiday weekend, I believe it would be well for all of us to reflect for a while on the revolutionary ideals that our forefathers believed and expected future generations to follow. Do we truly act upon the belief that “all men [human beings] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?”
As Catholics, we believe that unborn human beings have these rights. So do immigrants. Even those on death row. The impoverished and homeless are certainly included too. Even those who are diametrically opposed to our beliefs have the right to express themselves – peacefully and respectfully. Our founding fathers had vehement arguments with each other over critical issues, but in the end they agreed on a way to work together to create this wonderful country. We, in 2022 and in the near future, need to make sure we do not ruin it by hateful attitudes to others with whom we don’t agree. Our polarized vitriol is definitely eroding and corroding our democracy to the point where some question how can we act this way and still survive and live up to the Declaration of Independence. What do you think?
I invite you to come to our parish Fourth of July Eucharist, Monday at 8 a.m. in church, to pray for our United States of America and every person living in what we hope and pray will continue to be the most extraordinary and successful political experiment in history. May God bless all in America!
Bernadette Jubilee Basket Picnic – Next Sunday, July 10 at 11:30 a.m.
Plan to come up to the parish grounds between the gym and soccer fields with your full picnic basket and a cooler to enjoy an old-fashioned basket picnic with some of your best friends in the parish or some new friends you will make by joining together for a lovely summer afternoon outside.