– Welcome video from the Archdiocese of Newark –
– A Message from Pope Francis on Racism –
Dear Parishioners of Our Lady of Mercy,
I hope this finds you safe and well.
July is here! I cannot believe that we are more than half-way to the end of this year of 2020. Where did the time go? We might not have felt the passing of time because we were so busy protecting ourselves from the coronavirus and dealing with all that is happening in society.
But yes, we are in July, the time when we are supposed to be taking off from work to rest and spend time with family and friends (and maybe some of us are still planning to do that). Of course, vacations are a great thing if we are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to get away from it all for a little while.
Our gospel passage this weekend is so appropriate for this time of year. It talks about Jesus promising all of us a bit of the vacation spirit when he invites us to share his yoke and learn that things can be easier if we go through life together with him. He assures us that he can be our source of comfort and strength.
This is very consoling especially in this time of uncertainties when we wonder what the future holds for us and for our children. We have so many questions that have no definite answers. There are many things over which we have absolutely no control. Jesus wants to free us from that burden of worry. Jesus wants us to be like the “little ones” who simply accept their limitations and know that they are dependent on God.
The “little ones” that Jesus is talking about are the people who have faith. They may not be the wisest or the best educated people, but they have a greater chance of knowing what it means to be happy. They realize that everything is in God’s hands. They believe that God is a benevolent, loving Father because they have come to know God through knowing his Son, Jesus.
So, brothers and sisters, let us become “little ones”. Let us be the little ones that Jesus speaks about in the gospel, not so wise in our own estimation, not so self-sufficient. Let us realize our dependence on God and have faith in him. Let us allow Jesus to share the burden of life with us, so that we might find that rest and the deeper peace that only comes from him.
Take care of yourselves. Stay safe and enjoy this summer season.
A Prayer for Our Country
God of justice and Lord of all, you guide all creation with fatherly care. On this Independence Day, we recall the day when our country claimed its place among the family of nations.You reveal that those who work for peace will be called your sons and daughters. Continue to send your Spirit to touch the hearts and minds of all who cherish the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.As you have called us to be one nation, grant that under your providence our country may share your abundant blessings with all the peoples of the earth.We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
A Message from Pope Francis: Words of Challenge and Hope
My friends, we cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life. At the same time, it has to be recognized that the violence of recent nights is self-destructive and self-defeating. Nothing is gained by violence and so much is lost.
I pray for the repose of the soul of George Floyd and of all those others who have lost their lives as a result of the sin of racism. May there be national reconciliation and peace.
Today I wish to emphasize that the problem of intolerance must be confronted in all its forms: wherever any minority is persecuted and marginalized because of its religious convictions or ethnic identity, the well-being of society as a whole is endangered and each one of us must feel affected. With particular sadness I think of the sufferings, the marginalization and the very real persecutions which not a few Christians are undergoing in various countries. Let us combine our efforts in promoting a culture of encounter, respect, understanding, and mutual forgiveness.
Scapegoats are not only sought to pay, with their freedom and with their life, for all social ills such as was typical in primitive societies, but over and beyond this, there is at times a tendency to deliberately fabricate enemies: stereotyped figures who represent all the characteristics that society perceives or interprets as threatening. The mechanisms that form these images are the same that allowed the spread of racist ideas in their time.
Let nobody turn their back on society and feel excluded! No to segregation! No to racism!