"The people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death light has arisen" (Mt 4:16). When you glance through our church narthex, you will see signs of spiritual light. The Pro-Life basket raffle and Pro-Life baby shower donation displays (thanks to Pat Minick, Evelyn Watson, Rachel Clark, and the CCW) signify the light of Christ. Jesus is a great light shining on those in darkness and overshadowed by death. Jesus as light brings hope; his great light surpasses the darkness of the culture of death that overshadows our contemporary world. The darkness of death manifests itself in abortion, euthanasia, the death penalty, gun violence, poverty, and other anti-dignity of live acts. We must reflect the light of Christ. We are to be the light shining to overcome darkness. Jesus, the great light, calls us to work and pray to defend human life from conception to natural death.
In the United States, we usually celebrate "Mass for giving Thanks to God for the gift of Human Life on January 22, the anniversary of Roe v Wade (overturned by the US Supreme Court on June 24, 2022- a happy day). However, since it falls on a Sunday this year, we shall celebrate the Mass on Monday, June 23, at 8:00 a.m. Mass. For decades, many Catholics have been praying and marching for respect for life, and we must continue to do so. It calls for sacrifices. I remember my first march for life in Washington, DC, in 2004; it was a cold day for someone who lived most of his life in the tropics. But the advocacy for protecting the life of the unborn and all endangered life was worth the sacrifice made that freezing day. It is still worth it today as the Word of God continues to enlighten us.
On this Sunday of the Word of God, as declared by Pope Francis in his motu propio of September 30, 2019, Aperuit illis, I urge every one of us to seek the light of Christ in the Scriptures. The word of God is a light unto our feet (Ps. 119:105). Therefore, let us make it an ongoing, lifelong habit of studying God's Word. Some of us have studied the Bible in a Year with Fr. Mike Schmitz; we can do it repeatedly. Fr. Schmitz is also leading us in a year-long study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Days 14-17 of last week focused on God's Word. These sections of The Catechism are beneficial in reading and interpreting the Sacred Scriptures. If you have not done so, please sign up for these podcasts and follow them religiously. Georgian Azzalina, our religious education coordinator, invites us to a discussion based on these podcasts. Please check the bulletin for directions for joining the discussion group.
Christ called us to spread the light of faith, hope, joy, unity, and peace. How are you called to be a light in your family, parish, and community at large? Can you be a light of unity in a world fragmented by disagreement over the meaning of life? Let us pray for unity among all Christians and all people of the world. Make the light of Christ shine on those dwelling in darkness.
In His Light,
Fr. Bernard, OP