A Message from Father William

In the Gospel for this Sunday (Matthew 23:15-21), Jesus Christ instructs us to give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God. In other words, as we obey the laws of our country (giving to Caesar what belongs to him), we do not allow such obedience to compromise our love and respect for Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and His teachings. For example, we pay taxes and for health insurance, but we do not have to allow such funds to pay for the killing of pre-born children, even when some of the political leaders in our country try to force us to do so. In the face of such attacks on our religious liberty, we have a duty to defend ourselves – indeed, our moral conscience that is formed and informed by Jesus and His Church should be respected by government leaders. In the midst of a secular world, God calls us to be holy and courageous witnesses to His Gospel of life, witnesses to His love and mercy, as Bishop Donald Hying invites us to do in his initiative for our diocese, “Go Make Disciples,” and as Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI reminds us in the following Message for World Mission Sunday, 2006:

“Unless our mission is oriented by charity, that is, unless it springs from a profound act of divine love, it risks being reduced to mere philanthropic and social activity. In fact, God’s love for every person constitutes the heart of the experience and proclamation of the Gospel, and those who welcome it in turn become its witnesses.”

“God’s love, which gives life to the world, is the love that was given to us in Jesus, the Word of salvation, perfect icon of the Heavenly Father’s mercy.”

“The saving message can be summed up well, therefore, in the words of John the Evangelist: ‘In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him’ (1 John 4:9).”

“It was after His Resurrection that Jesus gave the apostles the mandate to proclaim the news of this love, and the apostles, inwardly transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, began to bear witness to the Lord who had died and was risen. Ever since, the Church has continued this same mission, which is the indispensable and ongoing commitment of all believers…”

“The generous readiness of disciples of Christ to undertake works of human and spiritual advancement draws vigor literally from the awareness of this common mission, faithfulness to divine love…. Consequently, being missionaries means loving God with all one’s heart, even to the point, if necessary, of dying for Him…. Being missionaries means stooping down to the needs of all, like the Good Samaritan, especially those of the poorest and most destitute people, because those who love with Christ’s Heart do not seek their own interests, but the glory of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and the good of their neighbor alone.”

With peace and prayers in Christ,
Fr. William