Bishops Archive for Orlando

House of prayer offers God’s embrace for all

My Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

What is the line of divide among us? Is it wearing a mask vs. not? Is it having food vs. not? Or living in one section of a town vs. another? Is it the color of one’s skin? Is it one denomination vs. another? Is it the nationality of one vs. another? Is it the political party to which we profess? Is it old vs. young?

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God’s word is the calm in the storm

My Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

Name one person whom you love. Name two people. Name five people whom you love. Think now of all the worries you have, all the confusion, all the discomfort of living in this world today.

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Ask yourself, ‘Who carries the Good News?’

My Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

Who carries the Good News this day? The local media? Social media? National news? My sisters and brothers, the carrier of the Good News is each one of you! We cannot rely on others to tell our stories of faith. We must individually and collectively speak the richness of God’s goodness and live so that God’s goodness flourishes upon this earth. After Jesus’ death and resurrection, the privileges of ancient Israel are now more fully and fittingly applied to the Christian people: “a chosen race” indicating our divine election; “a royal priesthood” to serve and worship God in Christ, so that we continue the priestly functions of Jesus’ life, passion, and resurrection; “a holy nation” reserved for God, a people He claims for His own in virtue of our Baptism into His death and resurrection.

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What is your desert experience?

My Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

What is a desert experience? When I think of a desert, I think of dry land with sand all around. I think of earth scorching my bare feet. I think of a blistering sun upon my skin. I think of profound loneliness. I think of an extraordinary thirst for water, for life.

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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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