A Message from Father William

The Biblical readings that we hear at Mass this Sunday once again offer us spiritual guidance: Repent, and believe in the Gospel; turn away from sin and selfishness and turn to the Good News of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. For example, in the first reading, God chose Jonah to preach repentance to the evildoers in Nineveh ( Jonah 3:1 10). In the Gospel, Jesus Christ, God the Son, came proclaiming the Good News, and one of His first actions was to call people to repent, to believe in the Gospel, to follow Him and to preach His message of salvation to the whole world (Mark 1:14-20). Nothing convinces us of the compassion, the love, kindness, and goodness of God, like the witness of the Apostles, humble believers who leave nets, boats, and parents to follow Jesus. To us who beg, “Teach me Your ways, O Lord,” Jesus responds and beckons “Come after me.” (see also Psalm 25 and 1 Corinthians 7:29-31).

As we are reminded that we hear God’s Word at every Mass, and as we read the Bible at other times, realizing the tremendous spiritual guidance that God gives us in His Word, have we ever wondered what would happen if we treated our Bible the same way that we treat our cell phones? What if we: carried our Bible around all the time? flipped through it a dozen times or more each day? turned back home to get it if we forgot it? used it to receive “text messages”? treated it like we couldn’t live without it? gave it to our children as a gift? used it when we traveled, as a “global positioning device” (GPS) and in cases of emergency?

By now, you might ask: Where is my Bible? If you don’t have one, please let me know, because I will give you one! Some folks might have an electronic version of the Bible on their cell phones and computer, which is wonderful, but we then have to rely on a battery and charger to read the virtual version (or under current trends, our internet access to the Bible might be eliminated as determined by tech companies, the media and many in our national leadership, as the assaults on our First Amendment rights continue nearly unchecked). Unlike our phones and other electronic devices, when we have an actual printed Bible to read, it’s always available and there’s nobody controlling what we can read, with no dropped calls or disconnects, which is a good reminder that God is always listening (Matthew 28:20). Thank you, God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, for Your Holy Word; help us to cherish Your Word daily and follow You more each day, in Your Church, Word, Sacraments and daily prayer, and have mercy on us, our country and our world. Amen.

With peace and prayers in Christ,
Fr. William Vernon

Building a culture of Life ( January 22 was the 48th commemoration of the tragic Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion in the United States through all nine months of pregnancy); as we pray for the 48th annual March for Life in Washington, DC, “Together Strong: Life Unites!” scheduled for this Friday, January 29th, may we renew our efforts to support God’s life-affirming works: Women’s Care Center, 3711 Orin Road, Madison, (608)241-8100, womenscarecenter.org; Clarity Clinic, 185 E. Pine St., Platteville, (608)348-5787; priestsforlife.org; Heartbeat 800-712-HELP; National Life Center 800-848-LOVE; Birthright 800-550-4900; Good Counsel Homes 800 723-8331; Rachel’s Vineyard (if you suffered an abortion), 877-HOPE-4- ME (877-467 3463), rachelsvineyard.org; Elizabeth House 608-259-1606; American Life League, ALL.org; Wisconsin Right to Life 877-855-5007; Grant County Right to Life; Pro-Life Wisconsin 262-796-1111; vigilforlife.org; 9daysforlife.com