During his years as premier of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev denounced many of the policies and atrocities of Joseph Stalin.
Once, as he censured Stalin in a public meeting, Khrushchev was interrupted by a shout from a heckler in the audience. "You were one of Stalin's colleagues. Why didn't you stop him?"
"Who said that?" roared Khrushchev. An agonizing silence followed as nobody in the room dared move a muscle.
Then Khrushchev replied quietly, "Now you know why."
Theme: Moral courage is always in short supply. It is the fashion to keep our heads down and go with the herd; but this is not the way to follow Christ.
“BE NOT AFRAID”
Jeremiah is dropped into a well to die, but is saved by a foreigner
Persevere with Jesus, for we are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses
Jesus calls for total loyalty, even if it causes severe dissension
Jeremiah’s role was to condemn idolatry and help his people rebuild their faith. But the ruling elite blocked all his efforts and even wanted to kill him, trying to make it seem that he died of the general famine afflicting the country. As a shy young man, Jeremiah’s whole being shuddered before the vocation he felt, which was “to tear up and to knock down, to destroy and to overthrow” (1:10). In his own descriptions we see him on the verge of despair. “The word of the Lord has brought on me insult and derision all day long” (20:8).
Jeremiah inner struggle was intense. “Why is my suffering endless, my wound incurable, refusing to be healed?” (15:18). He even goes so far as to say, “Cursed be the day when I was born” (20:18). He was going through what St John of the Cross would later call “the dark night of the soul,” when someone specially chosen by God seems abandoned by him. By such suffering the heart of Jeremiah was purified, making him a mighty prophet.
Instead of preaching externals like Law, circumcision, sacrifice and Temple, Jeremiah preached a religion that was inward, a more personal relationship with God. Deep within his people’s psyche God would plant his Law, writing it on their hearts (Jer 31:33). Jeremiah’s role was to condemn idolatry and help his people rebuild their faith
Jesus says in the Gospel: “Do you think that I am come to bring peace on earth? No. I tell you, but rather division.”
Each time Jesus decides to follow the Father’s will, it divides him off from those who won’t take the step with him
The problem is that we’ve lost sight of how disruptive and unconventional Jesus was. He talked of Samaritans saving Jewish lives! He praised the father who embraced the son who shamed him! You were to share your cloak and tunic, all you wore, literally! The soldier in the occupying army was to be accompanied not just the one mile but another mile, unbidden.
Jesus parted company with the self-centred behind, not because he wished to but because they did. His open-handed approach to others provoked a clench-fisted reaction in them. They would have to be rid of this challenging presence. The crucifixion was meant to silence him for good. Instead, it gave him the final, supreme option. It not only capped his life of sacrifice but raised up a symbol to disturb us over the centuries. The sacrificed life of Jesus indicates the price to be paid if we are to reach the peace he calls us to.
WYD - CROSS OF CHRIST
The government of Polish Prime Minister Jaruzelski had ordered crucifixes removed from classroom walls, just as they had been banned in factories, hospitals, and other public institutions. Catholic bishops attacked the ban that had stirred waves of anger and resentment all across Poland. Ultimately the government relented, insisting that the law remain on the books, but agreeing not to press for removal of the crucifixes, particularly in the schoolrooms.
But one zealous Communist school administrator in Garwolin decided that the law was the law. So one evening he had seven large crucifixes removed from lecture halls where they had hung since the school's founding in the twenties. Days later, a group of parents entered the school and hung more crosses. The administrator promptly had these taken down as well.
The next day two-thirds of the school's six hundred students staged a sit-in. When heavily armed riot police arrived, the students were forced into the streets. Then they marched, crucifixes held high, to a nearby church where they were joined by twenty-five hundred other students from nearby schools for a morning of prayer in support of the protest. Soldiers surrounded the church. But the pictures from inside of students holding crosses high above their heads flashed around the world. So did the words of the priest who delivered the message to the weeping congregation that morning. "There is no Poland without a cross."
Pope’s Homily at St. John Paul II Shrine: “Jesus sends. From the beginning, he wants his to be a Church on the move, a Church that goes out into the world”
“After the great sign of his mercy, we could say that there is no longer a need to add another. Yet one challenge does remain. There is room left for the signs needing to be worked by us, who have received the Spirit of love and are called to spread mercy. It might be said that the Gospel, the living book of God’s mercy that must be continually read and reread, still has many blank pages left. It remains an open book that we are called to write in the same style, by the works of mercy we practise. Let me ask you this: What are the pages of your books like? Are they blank? May the Mother of God help us in this. May she, who fully welcomed the word of God into her life, give us the grace to be living writers of the Gospel. May our Mother of Mercy teach us how to take concrete care of the wounds of Jesus in our brothers and sisters in need, those close at hand and those far away, the sick and the migrant, because by serving those who suffer we honour the flesh of Christ. May the Virgin Mary help us to spend ourselves completely for the good of the faithful entrusted to us, and to show concern for one another as true brothers and sisters in the communion of the Church, our holy Mother.”
Be not afraid - Persevere with Jesus, for we are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses.
Bishop Frederick Henry
August 14, 2016
The University of Calgary Catholic Community (UCCC) provides Catholic chaplaincy services to students and staff of the University of Calgary. We also serve Catholic young adults and young professionals who live in NW Calgary.
Chaplain: Fr. Minh Doan, OP
Address: University of Calgary Multi-Faith Chaplain's Centre (MacEwan Student Centre), 2500 University Dr. NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4
For up-to-date Mass times, please visit www.uofccatholic.ca
The Catholic campus ministry at Mount Royal University and SAIT Polytechnic provides opportunities for spiritual growth to students, faculty, and staff within the Catholic Church. Together, they create a supportive community of believers, and come together in faith to celebrate the sacraments of Eucharist and reconciliation.
Chaplain: Fr. Sajo Jacob
Lethbridge Catholic Young Adults (LCYA) has a presence in Lethbridge College and University of Lethbridge, in order to minister to the students and all young adults in Lethbridge. Any young adult (18-35) in college, university, or working, are welcome to join. Our mission is to provide opportunities for Catholic young adults to grow in faith and fellowship.
Chaplain: Fr. Roque Pereira
One aspect of our Catholic life where the beauty of the Church shines through is our sense of being a community. And in this community, everyone pushes each other and helps them grow in their conviction in living the Christian life. Sometimes, we do this intentionally, such as when we provide mentorship to people through the different parish ministries. But just as often, we also do them unintentionally. It often comes to us as a surprise when something that we’ve done in the past – something we thought was seemingly small — has tremendously inspired others, and we just did not know it. Something similar to that happened last year.
Enter Fr. Joseph Nagothu of St. Rita’s Parish in Rockyford, Alberta. Responding to Bishop Henry’s call to encourage the youth in different parishes to participate in One Rock, Fr. Joseph said, “that’s why I was thinking: how can I contribute to One Rock as a priest of the Diocese?” That was when he decided to walk from Rockyford to Calgary, with the hopes of raising awareness for One Rock.
After months of meticulous logistical planning, the walk began after Sunday Mass at St. Rita’s parish, where Fr. Joseph was joined by his parishioners who pledged to walk with him for the first few kilometers – the young and old alike, some with baby strollers with them. Along the way, parishioners from Chestermere and from the different parishes of the Diocese joined him. What touched me the most was when a young man living in one of the houses along the route, went out to see what was happening and ended up joining us in the walk for a few hours, all the while talking about One Rock and our Catholic faith.
This year, Walk for One Rock will once again bring together people from the different parishes of our diocese to raise awareness for this festival that has brought so many closer to Christ. On July 10, 2016 everyone is invited to join in the Sunday Mass at St. Rita’s for the send-off to everyone participating in the walk. Or, better yet, join in the walk! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every single parish in Calgary would have a representing team in this journey? Pledge a kilometer or two (or more) and share with people along the way the purpose behind it. It is always a great privilege to walk the road God has set before us, and in sharing the Gospel with those whom we meet.
Walk for One Rock 2016
July 10 - 11, 2016