St. Paul sums up the Christian life in the passage from his letter to the Romans: “Love is the fulfillment of the law” (Rom. 13:10)... easier said than done, of course. How we treat one another says something about our faith and our regard for the Word of God. Jesus’ words in the gospel about reconciliation, and Ezekiel’s admonition to look out for others and to encourage them to pursue the good rather than wickedness. In all of this, we are reminded of relationships and that we are connected to one another. The answer to the age-old question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” is really “no, but I am my brother’s brother!” This means that it is not a matter of responsibility but of love and concern for the one we call brother or sister, not only in blood but in spirit, particularly in the Church, the Body of Christ, as we are all connected as brothers and sisters.
As the calendar turns to September, it feels like a change of seasons, and the arrival of fall brings the resumption of a lot of our activity, though much of our programming will look a little different in the virtual world. In the midst of all of this, our country will face a presidential election in November that will undoubtedly heighten the tension and strong emotion already so prevalent in today’s society. As you are well aware, the political divisions we see throughout our country are equally present even in the Church, and the political landscape especially in the presidential election is complicated to say the least. The Church is as much a part of society as any other individual or group, and the constitutionally-protected free exercise of religion means that we have the right to express what we believe and to put it into practice. The Church does not, however, endorse any particular candidate or party platform. There has rarely been a candidate for public office who fully embodies all of what the Church values or teaches. The Church does stand behind certain principles, and we should not be silent in advocating for the protection of the unborn, the sick and the dying, the poor, or the immigrant, and we should advocate for access to healthcare, educational opportunities, and gender and racial equality, all of which are part of the corpus of Catholic social teaching. It is our responsibility to be involved in society, and in this case, to be active and informed as voters. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops offers a resource entitled Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, found online at https://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/faithful-citizenship/forming-consciences-for-faithful-citizenship-title. The Maryland Catholic Conference will be providing detailed guidance and candidate surveys in the coming weeks to help us better understand what candidates believe and espouse. Let us pray for one another and let us pray for respectful and peaceful public discourse in the coming months.
I’m happy to announce that after waiting a long time (since May!) our teenagers will finally receive the Sacrament of Confirmation on Wednesdays September 9, 16 and 23! Due to the pandemic, Archbishop Lori has given pastors permission to provide this sacrament in lieu of a Bishop. Do remember them in your prayers. Also, starting next weekend our youngest parishioners will be receiving their First Holy Communion at a number of weekend Masses during September. Please be advised that during this time you may not be able to attend the Mass you normally attend due to the children and their family members signing up. We pray that you will understand and help us celebrate those receiving the Eucharist for the first time!
It’s Labor Day weekend! Where does the time go?! It is certainly fitting as we turn the calendar to September and the pace of life quickens once again from summer leisure (especially for the students among us) to pause to give thanks for the gift that is our WORK. This holiday observance was created during the American Labor Movement to celebrate the achievements of workers that contribute to the building up and betterment of our society and our nation. It is also good to remember in prayer those who are unemployed or underemployed during the pandemic. While the holiday is very much a somber, civic observance this year, we know that it is also an opportunity to see and appreciate God’s works. It is also for us an opportunity to give thanks that we have the capacity to work: our talents and our abilities, which are themselves products of the work of God. As a reminder, the Parish Office will be closed on Monday and there will be no 9:00am Mass.
Here is this Sunday’s Worship Aid
As usual, we will continue to live-stream Mass on the parish Facebook (link) and uploaded on YouTube (link), and our parish website, https://www.seaseton.org/Resources/Media. If you do not have Facebook but wish to watch our livestream, click here for instructions.
Have a safe weekend!