“One must not love oneself so much as to avoid getting involved in the risks of life that history demands of us. … But whoever out of love for Christ gives themselves to the service of others will live, like the grain of wheat that dies. ... Only in dying does it produce the harvest. … Whoever offers their life out of love for Christ, and in service to others, will live like the seed that dies.”
The Church has been thinking about these issues of crime and punishment and the common good for a long time, beginning with the teachings of Jesus and the apostolic writings of the New Testament.
As I write, I’m getting ready for our annual Religious Education Congress, as I know many of you are, too.
The Congress is one of the high points of every year here in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles — and it has been for decades.
As I continue to visit parishes around this great archdiocese, I see every day that the life of faith is lived in the heart of the parish.
This morning, Pope Francis named Bishop Robert McElroy, Auxiliary of San Francisco, to be the new Bishop of San Diego, which is one of the six dioceses that make up the Ecclesiastical Province of Los Angeles.
As I write, I’ve just read the sad news that 90 Christians have been kidnapped from two villages in Syria. Of course we were all shocked earlier this month by the news that 21 Coptic Christians were executed in Syria — killed, as Pope Francis said, “for the mere fact of being Christians.”
Catholicism creates a culture. Because Catholicism is a way of living born from the encounter with a divine person, Jesus of Nazareth, who is the Word of God and the Son of God humbling himself to come among us in human form.
Lent comes early this year. In fact, next week, February 18, is Ash Wednesday and Lent begins.
In the family, we learn that our Father has a loving purpose for our lives and that each of us has a “vocation” or calling from God — either to marriage or the priesthood or consecrated life or to live as lay faithful serving our neighbors in the worlds of work and family.
There are many injustices in our society, but the most fundamental is the one we rarely acknowledge — this routine taking of innocent human life that goes on every day. So as we pray for these little souls, we pray tonight for our city, our state, and our nation.
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