Happy Labor Day weekend! As we honor and support workers this weekend I share with you a brief reflection from the U.S. Catholic Bishops.
“For many of us, Labor Day provides a much-needed break from the rigors of our busy work weeks. But as we gather with friends and family this Labor Day, we also are reminded of our Catholic responsibility to honor and support those who work hard to keep our society and our economy healthy- especially those who work hard but remain in poverty.
A special duty to the poor is a part of our Church's tradition called Catholic Social Teaching. As the U.S. Catholic Bishops write, "Catholic Social Teaching is a central and essential element of our faith. Its roots are in the Hebrew prophets who announced God's special love for the poor and called God's people to a covenant of love and justice. It is a teaching founded on the life and words of Jesus Christ, who came ‘to bring glad tidings to the poor’… (Luke 4:18-19), and who identified himself with ‘the least of these,’ the hungry and the stranger (cf. Matthew 25:45). Catholic social teaching is built on a commitment to the poor … As the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains, ‘To receive in truth the Body and Blood of Christ given up for us, we must recognize Christ in the poorest, his brethren’ (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1397).”
Have a happy return to school week, and make sure to take some time to enjoy the beauty of nature we are blessed with. It will be good for your spirit. Don’t forget the second Mass on Sunday returns to 11:30 AM next week.
Let us continue to pray for peace and for the end of terrorism in our world!
In peace and courage,
PS – I am a member of Association of U.S. Catholic Priests and want to share with you a joint statement we released with the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus in light of the events in Charlottesville in mid-August.
To honor God we all must love all
We Catholic priests, black and white and other, mourn the death of Heather Heyer and extend condolences and prayers to her family. We pray also for the families and friends of state troopers Jay Cullen and Berke Bates who died while working for public safety in Charlottesville, and for others injured in body or in spirit. We stand in solidarity with the people of Charlottesville.
We pray too for the repentance of all who caused or contributed to this suffering, and for ourselves, because of what we have done or what we have failed to do. We cannot remain silent.
God created the human race. God loves the human race. God calls the human race to love itself. That includes all persons of all colors, genders, nationalities, sexual orientations, languages, religious and political convictions, etc. We are all members of the human race. None of us is better than the other by who and what we are, only by how we are. We need one another. To honor God we all must love all. That is the only way to peace in our hearts, in our society, in our nation, in our world.
As Catholic priests we stand with our bishops and all persons of good will against the manifest evils of racism, white supremacy and neoNazism. We deplore organizations, associations or movements that embody in their purpose and activities such convictions and sentiments. Every person must resist allowing hatred and fear of any sort to take possession of their heart. God is love. God loves the human race, the whole of it. So must God’s children, all of us. To be not only Christian but fully human, we must love.