Each Weekend Father Damian sends out a reflection along with important information for that week to all parishioners. To sign up and receive these emails please go to https://StCatharineStMargaret.flocknote.com/everyone
October 18, 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
If our understanding of our American Life could be expressed as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, we could summarize the kingdom of God as the pursuit of peace, joy, and justice. As you can see, they work well together. Indeed, we believe we can be good citizens of heaven by in part by being good citizens of earth. Much more is said about this in the bishops document “Faithful Citizenship.” https://www.usccb.org/offices/justice-peace-human-development/forming-consciences-faithful-citizenship
I encourage you to read it on our site. Please also note this is the only official Catholic “voters guide”. The Church doesn’t tell us who to vote for but does seek to form our conscience regarding our faith’s entirety.
We have all witnessed many debates and arguments, even within our own families and circle of friends. We might ask, what is the right thing to do? Let’s be honest; there has always been a lot of disagreement! That’s the thing; in a democracy, people are allowed to disagree.
Those who disagree with us, those who have another viewpoint or perspective, are not the enemy. After all, we are one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. An authentic faith always involves a deep desire to change the world, transmit values, and leave this earth somehow better than we found it.
We love this magnificent planet on which God has put us, and we love the human family that dwells here, with all its tragedies and struggles, hopes and aspirations, strengths, and weaknesses. The earth is our common home, and all of us are brothers and sisters. If indeed “the just ordering of society and of the state is a central responsibility of politics,” the Church “cannot and must not remain on the sidelines in the fight for justice.” (Evangelii Gaudium, no. 183)
We must recognize that we are not merely bystanders passive recipients of the culture, but we form our culture every day by our words, actions, decisions, and values we live by. It’s tempting to say I never really do any harm, I’ve never killed anyone! But for the Christian, not doing harm is certainly not good enough; we must actively be doing good! Every time I get complacent, the Sheep and Goats’ parable from Matthew’s Gospel reminds me that much more is expected from me.
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’” 44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ 46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
Our lives are a series of relationships, duties, and responsibilities. Each encounter can be transformative if lived with grace. We can be good citizens of heaven and good citizens of the earth if we live authentic, honest lives actively concerned not just for our family and friends but for the least of the brethren.
With Love and Blessings,