Baruch, Chapter 6, Verse 2-4
2 When you reach Babylon you will be there many years, a long time—seven generations; after that I will bring you back from there in peace. 3 And now in Babylon you will see gods of silver and gold and wood, carried shoulder high, to cast FEAR upon the nations. 4 Take care that you yourselves do not become like these foreigners and let not such FEAR possess you.
Do not let fear possess you! Sometimes people lose hope when they enter a strange land. John McCain highlights in his book Character is Destiny the hopefulness of John Winthrop who left the security of his native country to face the dangers of an unknown world to create and shape the character of a new civilization in America. Is there still hope in this country He helped found? Only if we have courage!
John was a puritan and followed the idea that they are to be in the world but not of the world. They should not love earthly pleasures but neither should they shun the blessings of God. To be humble and grateful and give hope to others, by being faithful and encouraging in their own society. John believed men should strive to build a shining city on the hill by putting one’s duty to God and community before one’s own personal desires and to never despair.
He wrote and preached the sermon, “Model of Christian Charity” to give hope to others. He led always by example and never, never gave up hope.
Today would be a good day to reflect on what we want to harvest this fall; so like farmers we must till the soil of our soul reflecting this day on our use of our TREASURE (yes money/tithe) and look at in what ways we may offer our money to Christ to help build a harvest for His Kingdom. It has been said that money is the root of all evil. Yet, this is not exactly true for the real root of all evil is not money but the LOVE of money. Those who fear the Lord know that money is a gift from God. It is not to be buried but sown. This is the correction that God wishes us to accept. We are all sowers and we are to spread the seeds or gifts that God gives us out. Does God need a tithe from us? Or Does God need our hearts free from the love of money? Do not make my house a marketplace. For love of money or the lust for money is what corrupts men not the money itself.
Your Money or Your Life
At this tense moment in our history, when external wars and internal violence make us so conscious of death, an affirmation of the sanctity of human life by renewed attention to the family is imperative. Let society always be on the side of life. Let it never dictate, directly or indirectly, recourse to the prevention of life or to its destruction in any of its phases; neither let it require as a condition of economic assistance that any family yield conscientious determination of the number of its children to the decision of persons or agencies outside the family. Stepped-up pressures for moral and legal acceptance of directly procured abortion make necessary pointed reference to this threat to the right to life. Reverence for life demands freedom from direct interruption of life once it is conceived. Conception initiates a process whose purpose is the realization of human personality. A human person, nothing more and nothing less, is always at issue once conception has taken place. We expressly repudiate any contradictory suggestion as contrary to Judeo-Christian traditions inspired by love for life, and Anglo-Saxon legal traditions protective of life and the person. Abortion brings to an end with irreversible finality both the existence and the destiny of the developing human person.
· Conscious of the inviolability of life, the Second Vatican Council teaches: God, the Lord of life, has conferred on man the surpassing ministry of safeguarding life, a ministry which must be fulfilled in a manner that is worthy of man. Therefore, from the moment of its conception life must be guarded with the greatest care while abortion and infanticide are unspeakable crimes (Gaudium et Spes, 51).
· The judgment of the Church on the evil of terminating life derives from the Christian awareness that men are not the masters but the ministers of life. Hence, the Council declares: Whatever is opposed to life itself, such as any type of murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia, or willful self-destruction, whatever violates the integrity of the human person...all these things and others of their like are infamies indeed. They poison human society, but they do more harm to those who practice them than those who suffer from the injury. Moreover, they are a supreme dishonor to the Creator" (Gaudium et Spes, 27)
Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
Are these words just words highlighted by men during the age of enlightenment or are they the inspired will of the creator? America is special in that the founders realized this when they wrote our constitution which was established to ensure that laws are enacted and enforced that support life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Much of our misery in this country is caused by laws that reverse the order ensuring that wealth trumps liberty and liberty trumps life. No, it must be life first.
The transmission of human life is a most serious role in which married people collaborate freely and responsibly with God the Creator. It has always been a source of great joy to them, even though it sometimes entails many difficulties and hardships.
The fulfillment of this duty has always posed problems to the conscience of married people, but the recent course of human society and the concomitant changes have provoked new questions. The Church cannot ignore these questions, for they concern matters intimately connected with the life and happiness of human beings.
The protection of Life has primacy.
· If we are the children of the creator, we know that life must be protected at conception to its natural end.
· We must seek the dignity of the unborn, the living and the aged in our laws and traditions.
Are you into composting?
When Americans die, most are buried or cremated. Washington could soon become the first state to allow another option: human composting. The novel approach, known as “recomposition,” involves placing bodies in a vessel and hastening their decomposition into a nutrient-dense soil that can then be returned to families. The aim is a less expensive way of dealing with human remains that is better for the environment than burial, which can leach chemicals into the ground, or cremation, which releases earth-warming carbon dioxide.
“People from all over the state who wrote to me are very excited about the prospect of becoming a tree or having a different alternative for themselves,” said state Sen. Jamie Pedersen, a Democrat, who is sponsoring a bill in Washington’s Legislature to expand the options for disposing of human remains. The recomposition bill would also make Washington the 17th state to allow alkaline hydrolysis, the dissolving of bodies in a pressurized vessel with water and lye until just liquid and bone remains. Pedersen plans to introduce the bill when the new legislative session begins next month.
This is scary, sounds like the movie “Soylent Green” was prophetic. Maybe if you are over fifty you need to stay healthy as possible for as long as you can.
Memorial Day Build Up
Every day from now to Memorial Day I ask your prayers for each service and all of our defenders to include police and fire on Memorial Day.
The Italian culture has always had a close association with St. Joseph perhaps you could make Wednesdays centered around Jesus’ Papa. Plan an Italian dinner of pizza or spaghetti after attending Mass as most parishes have a Wednesday evening Mass. You could even do carry out to help restaurants recover from the pandemic. If you are really adventurous you could do the Universal Man Plan: St. Joseph style. Make the evening a family night perhaps it could be a game night. Whatever you do make the day special.
· Do Day 2 of Total Consecration to St. Joseph.
 McCain, John and Salter, Mark. (2005) Character is destiny. Random House, New York.