June 3, 2018

A Quote from Star Wars (The Last Jedi): If you have seen the movie Star Wars: The Last Jedi you heard “That’s how we’re gonna win – – not fighting what we hate, but by saving what we love.”  Since last weekend I have been spending a good bit of time thinking about that vote in Ireland and how a Catholic country could fall so far from the truth of compassion and love.  While I was pondering this, that quote from the movie kept coming back into my mind.  When I first heard it, it struck me to the core.  I think it provides the light we need to understand not only why the Truth is fading in Ireland but why it is so dim in our own nation. We, and here I mean Catholics, have been fighting what we hate.  It isn’t working.  While we fight, all that is seen is the anger and rage. We need to turn to saving what we love.  We will save it by preaching it,
living it, sharing it, promoting it, and celebrating it.  This truly is the Gospel.  Think of Jesus in the desert for His 40 days (see Matthew chapter 4). He didn’t attack the devil but, rather, stayed focus on the Love of the Father.  People are attracted to beauty and love. Nothing is more beautiful than our faith, our liturgy, and our communal prayer; and there is no greater love than the love God has for each one of us. It is time to stop focusing on the evils we want to see stopped and start stopping them by immersing ourselves in the love our faith provides.  May we be a
people, a Church, which gives the positive witness to why the Catholic faith is the place for healing and love, a family open to all who believe and follow the Truth.

Our Mission Week Trip Theme: In light of what I preached last week and of what I just wrote, I would like to share with you the theme for this year’s Mission Trip.  It is LIVING THE TRUTH IN LOVE with the focus verse being Ephesians 4:15: “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of Him who is the head, that is, Christ.”  Our nightly talks will include the following themes: Speaking truth in love, which will emphasize the idea that our faith is both truth and an act of love.  We will grow, which will address the complexity of the mystery of God which unfolds over our lifetime and how we can’t let the world become more complex without counterbalancing that with a deeper knowledge of God.  In every respect, which will focus on the fact that each of us has a gift to share with the world and no one gift is more important than another.  Without the use of each of our gifts, the body is incomplete, our Church is incomplete, and we will not be able to grow individually or communally.  The mature body of Him who is the head, that is, Christ, here we will touch upon what it means to be part of the Church, the body of Christ, and that in maturity we live and remain in truth, via the Eucharist, helping all
people journey toward our end goal of loving our neighbor and ultimately getting to heaven.  If you would like to help cover some of the costs of our Mission Week, your generosity would be greatly appreciated.

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