Take any U.S. currency and you will see the words “In God We Trust.” Our founding fathers chose this statement. More than 200 years later it is still printed on our money. Hopefully we will not abandon this tradition.
With extreme violence and conflict seemingly an everyday occurrence in our country, and around the world, we could easily be convinced that not many people still place their trust in God. As people of faith we know this is not true. In considering our first reading today from Genesis, I am reminded of Yogi Berra’s famous line that “it seems like déjà vu all over again.” The people of Sodom and Gomorrah had strayed so far from God that Abraham had to boldly intervene to negotiate their safety.
When we find ourselves getting discouraged or caught up in the emotions of the day we need to stop what we are doing, draw nearer to God as Abraham did, and give thanks that our God is a god of patience and love. God does not ignore or overlook evil but he continually offers every person the opportunity to experience His love and His mercy. We need only to place ourselves in front of a crucifix to be reminded of the depth of God’s love for us. Jesus offered himself up for all of us, not just those who live a life of continuous faithfulness. The sins of all people, for all time, were nailed to the cross with Christ in one sacrifice of love for all time. As Christians we pray that those who presently take matters into their own hands rather than trusting in God will experience a change of heart.
At his installation as Bishop of Rome, Pope Benedict XVI said,
“The world is redeemed by the patience of God. It is destroyed by the impatience of man.”
God is eternally patient with us. Let us be patient and trust that God will not abandon us to a world of chaos, hatred and destruction.
This week has been designated as National Natural Family Planning Awareness Week. This may not seem as though it has anything to do with the rest of this bulletin letter but, in fact, it is very closely connected. Much of the trouble we are experiencing in this country, and around the world today is due to a lack of respect for other people. We so often forget that we are all created in the image and likeness of God. In 1968, Blessed Pope Paul VI issued the papal encyclical Humanae Vitae. In that encyclical he predicted many of today’s problems would result through a proliferation of contraception. When we use or manipulate others we undermine their human dignity and our own as well. Although the encyclical is now almost 50 years old, it is still very relevant. Check it out.
May God bless all of us,
Deacon Bill Radio