reflections, updates and homilies from Deacon Mike Talbot inspired by the following words from my ordination: Receive the Gospel of Christ whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe and practice what you teach...
Saturday, January 16, 2021
Archbishop Aymond with a very, very important message
Wise and important words from Archbishop Aymond; we all need to read and heed these word!
When Jesus was born in the darkness of the night, the angel said to the shepherd keeping watch over their flocks: "Peace on earth to people of goodwill."
We need to hear that Christmas echo again because we certainly do not have peace in our world or in the United States. Sometimes, neither do we have peace in our hearts or in our families. And, sometimes, we also face division within the church.
The angel said: “Peace to people of goodwill.” Where there is a lack of peace, we have to ask within our own hearts and within the hearts of others whether or not we are acting out of goodwill.
To be more specific, there are wars and rumors of war around the world. In our own country, there is a lack of respect. Unfiltered thoughts slice hearts, and we have experienced so much of that for many years.
It has become commonplace that people can say whatever they want without considering the effect their words have on others. More than one person has said to me, “I have the right to free speech, and I can say whatever I choose.”
I beg to differ. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinions, but we must not express those opinions in a way that deliberately offends someone or treats them in a less than humane way. We must respect one another and attempt to dialogue in a civil manner, particularly when we are in disagreement.
But it’s not just words that have been hurtful to others; it’s also actions.
Peaceful protests have a constitutionally protected place in our society and afford people the opportunity to use words and actions to make a point. Violent protests, however, cannot be justified.
We saw this in the summer as violent protests went on and on to decry social injustice and racism. Most recently in Washington, D.C., we saw protests by people who have a right to protest. But those protests became violent and did not respect the rights of others. They took the lives of five people.
It doesn’t make any difference what political side you are on. Violence and the taking of the life of another person is sinful.
It is evident to me that there is underlying anger that exists in our society. Pointing the finger at others reminds us that when we do so, there are three fingers pointing back at ourselves. As long as this continues, we will not have the peace to be people of goodwill.
So what are the responsibilities of Catholic Christians in the midst of all of this? Jesus was clear in his mandate that we must be reconcilers. In his Sermon on the Mount, he told the crowd gathered on the seashore: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.”
Isn't it ironic that in our society today, when people strive to come together in reconciliation and promote peace, they are criticized for doing so? This is the work of evil. When people view the desire to respect others and seek genuine reconciliation as an affront, that cannot be the work of God.
May I suggest that we pray and fast for peace. Some things can be accomplished only through prayer and fasting, and, certainly, peace in our hearts, in our country and in our world, is worth praying and fasting for.
Let us pray for our nation and for all of our newly elected leaders and members of Congress that their hearts will be open to leading us to the peace that God alone dreams of for his people.