Bishops Archive for Orlando

God is ever present

My Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Jesus is born to us, Emmanuel, God with us. His earthly life is lived in complete fidelity to what God has promised and asked of His Son. He reminded His disciples and still us today, He is with us always. The Old and the New Testament are the unfolding Covenant of God among us. This is the hope we discover within the journey of God’s pursuit of us—hope pouring out for all the people. Hope seeds the earth.

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We must continue to proclaim the Gospel in this time of pandemic

My Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

What is doing good? During this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, doing good means protecting each other from the grave threat of a deadly virus. Doing good means practicing social distancing and staying at home. Doing good means focusing on God and uniting together as His people in the Spirit and prayer. Doing good means caring and protecting human life. Yes, doing good involves suffering through the sacrifices we make in our daily living so that we are able to protect human life.

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Easter revives our faith

Where is your faith? Do you not believe? Many of us have been questioning our faith and worrying about the reception of the Sacraments since the suspension of the celebration of Mass publicly to honor the sanctity of each person during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Love we share in our families, at work, in the Church, in the world will save us

My Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

Pope Francis in his message for World Youth Day 2020 said, if “you have lost your vitality, your dreams, your enthusiasm, your optimism and your generosity,” there is still hope and that hope is “Jesus who stands before you.” Here we are standing with our Lord as he walks the streets of Jerusalem, for He has finally arrived. Are we rejoicing and offering our hosannas? Or have we already passed Him by and have lost our enthusiasm, optimism and generosity? Even if we are greeting Him with our hosannas now, will that joy quickly fade as we identify other needs or wants and look to blame?

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We are challenged both to see and to be light for others

My Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

Within the Gospels during the season of Lent, there is a sense of mission, or of being sent. In the Scripture of the fourth Sunday of Lent, Samuel is being sent to find the next king. David is chosen and is sent to lead the nation. Jesus ministers to a blind man, whom he asks to go and wash in the Pool of Siloam (which means Sent) and he returns with the ability to see. This man who could now see is sent to proclaim the Good News, even though he finds non-believers, or others who are blind. We too are sent. St. Paul writes to the Ephesians that we are light in the Lord and we should live as children of light.

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Return to God with your heart and soul

My Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

Bread. It is one of the four major food groups. It was sustenance for the Israelites throughout their journey in the desert. It was an essential part of the meal in which Jesus and His disciples shared. It was the source of revelation to the disciples on the Road to Emmaus. For us as Catholics, when consecrated the bread becomes the Real Presence of Christ among us.

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We are all called to be holy

My Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

In Gaudate et Exsultate, an exhortation of Pope Francis, he writes, “With this exhortation I would like to insist primarily on the call to holiness that the Lord addresses to each of us, the call that he also addresses, personally, to you: “Be holy, for I am holy” (Lev 11:44; 1 Pet 1:16). We are called to be holy each in his or her own way. We do our very best to flourish the personal gifts that God has placed within our hearts.

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This kingdom is ours to fulfill

What God has prepared for those who love Him. The mystery of God is His plan for the salvation of His people, for you and me! This mystery is revealed to us through Jesus Christ and His journey to the Cross. Jesus’ power is the tenderness of his very heart which gives life to us. God does not act like the powerful of the earth. He humbles himself to welcome each one of us in our human frailty, our own uncertainty. God is close to us like a loving father, a caring mother, a shepherd who loves his sheep, a person merciful to the stranger. God seeks us always to be in a relationship with Him … a relationship of love because God is love.

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We witness God’s hope in young people

Jan. 22, 2020, marks a sad anniversary: the U.S. Supreme Court’s tragic decision legalizing the deliberate taking of unborn human life through elective abortion. We must remember that judicial sanction of the termination of life in the womb is not God’s sanction. This wrong for 47 years has hardened hearts and created chaos within our daily living. Death of the most vulnerable – more than 60 million innocents – has wrought a disregard for human life as we discard those whom we deem disposable because of infirmity, belief, nationality, or economic status. As the disciples asked Jesus, “Lord, when did we see you . . .” (Mt 25:31-40), our subtle or marked indifference manifests itself in bullying or denial or violence to name a few.

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Gift of Christmas is learning how we are to live

My Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

What strong and beautiful words we hear proclaimed in Scripture on the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Think of the imagery from the words of the prophet Isaiah — “I have grasped you by the hand; I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people.” To grasp someone’s hand effects a sense of urgency, a desire for the person. God chooses us and forms us. We fulfill his covenant; that is, we carry forth his light for all the nations. How do we do that? At Baptism, we receive the light of Christ. He passes the torch to us: I formed you and set you as a covenant of the people … a light for the nations.

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Offer God’s peace to one another

My Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

The peace of the Lord be with you. We often marvel at this word, peace. It is spoken about during the holiest of days and it rests upon the birth of the Christ Child. The peace of which God speaks, his peace, is not of this world. It is of God. It is more than feeling good about an accomplishment, it is acknowledging the accomplishment was born through, with and in God. It is more than ‘putting up your feet,’ sitting in the armchair after dinner with the family gathered. It is the sincere understanding that all is well because of the goodness of God.

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Advent: A time of interior reflection

My Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

The season of Advent is a time of interior reflection upon our life in Christ. We anticipate the birth of our savior and realize that our choosing salvation is our inner struggle between good and evil. The season of Advent brings us great light and we ask God to know what is happening within us.

Pope Francis spoke about this inner struggle recently and said, “even saints feel this inner struggle within themselves.” It is not an abstract differential between good and evil. It is a struggle that is within us all and during this season, particularly, we are more focused on this struggle that we might prepare the way of the Lord.

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Be aware of God’s presence

My Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

When St. John Henry Newman heard that someone said he was a saint, he chided the “messenger” and said, “I have no tendency to be a saint.” Throughout his life, St. John Henry Newman thought himself to be far away from the ideal of holiness. Yet, his life, from the age of 15 when he had his “first conversion,” was orienting himself toward God, calling God the center of his life.

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God’s presence found in everyday people, everyday life

My Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

During November, particularly with the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed Nov. 2, we remember those who have died. Some of these we know personally, such as our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, close friends. Some are part of the community of faith and we may know them because they are one of our parishioners or someone with whom we knew as a child. As we remember these dear people, we also long to be with them, to join them in heaven. How do we reconcile this earthly living with the resurrected life promising us to be with God that is yet to come?

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Holiness: A living through, with and in God

My Sisters and Brothers in Christ:God calls us to holiness. Our reply to God is, “Who me, Lord? I am unworthy. It is not possible!” God persists, however, and from our Baptism we learn that we are of God and that because of this we are given a dignity which is ours to flourish through all our days. Holiness is not an elevation of state. Holiness is a living through, with and in God. It is an interior spirituality, which overflows and cannot be contained. We see this with the early Christians. They were known by their difference—by the cherished love they bestowed upon each other—whether friend or stranger.

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