Sunday, October 25, 2020

Loving Others


In the Opening Prayer of today’s Liturgy we hear, “Almighty ever-living God, increase our faith, hope and charity, and make us love what you command, so that we may merit what you promise. We make this prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.”  This prayer truly sets the stage for today’s Gospel reading from Matthew where we have Jesus being a scholar of the law tested Jesus by asking, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”  Jesus’ response was, "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments."  From today's Gospel Mt 22: 34-40.

 How ironic! Jesus faced a parade of dignitaries trying to trap him instead of asking how they could better care for the people surrounding him. Their very actions showed how blind they were to what it really meant to love God or their neighbor.  When we think of the word “love” we may immediately think of love as a feeling. This is understandable due to the strong influence of the media on our world that often illustrates love as a feeling. However, by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross it is revealed to us Christians that love is an action. Like all actions, love requires an initiative from our will. As human beings, we have been given the gift of free will, as such we are not forced to love our God or anyone for that matter. We are invited to love others and our decision to love comes from a place of freedom and reason.

 Let us take this week to reflect on our actions and our intentions behind them. Let us not be afraid to ask ourselves “why we do what we do each day? If you find yourself answering in a way you are not happy with, bring it to Jesus. Let us allow Jesus into our decisions and ask for His help.  Jesus, teach us to love others as you would have us.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

The International Day of the Girl


Today we celebrate the Day of the Girl.  Progress for adolescent girls has not kept pace with the realities they face today, and COVID-19 has reinforced many of these gaps. This year, under the theme, “My Voice, Our Equal Future”, let’s seize the opportunity to be inspired by what adolescent girls see as the change they want, the solutions- big and small- they are leading and demanding across the globe.

In 2020, we commemorate 25 years since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action – the global agenda for advancing the rights and empowerment of women and girls, everywhere. Generation Equality was also launched in early 2020 as a multi-year, multi-partner campaign and movement for bold action on gender equality. A clear narrative and actions related to the needs and opportunities of adolescent girls and their solutions is central to the Generation Equality mission.

On December 19, 2011, United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.  The International Day of the Girl Child focuses attention on the need to address the challenges girls face and to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights.

Adolescent girls have the right to a safe, educated, and healthy life, not only during these critical formative years, but also as they mature into women. If effectively supported during the adolescent years, girls have the potential to change the world – both as the empowered girls of today and as tomorrow’s workers, mothers, entrepreneurs, mentors, household heads, and political leaders. An investment in realizing the power of adolescent girls upholds their rights today and promises a more equitable and prosperous future, one in which half of humanity is an equal partner in solving the problems of climate change, political conflict, economic growth, disease prevention, and global sustainability.

Girls are breaking boundaries and barriers posed by stereotypes and exclusion, including those directed at children with disabilities and those living in marginalized communities. As entrepreneurs, innovators and initiators of global movements, girls are creating a world that is relevant for them and future generations.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by world leaders in 2015, embody a roadmap for progress that is sustainable and leaves no one behind.  Achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment is integral to each of the 17 goals. Only by ensuring the rights of women and girls across all the goals will we get to justice and inclusion, economies that work for all, and sustaining our shared environment now and for future generations.

Empowering women and girls and promoting gender equality is crucial to accelerating sustainable development. Ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls is not only a basic human right, but it also has a multiplier effect across all other development areas.  Taken from

May we always support the efforts of girls and empower them to continue to achieve their goals.

Sunday, October 4, 2020


Today we celebrate the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi.  As the Season of Creation comes to and end this Sunday let’s pray once more the Canticle of Creation written by St. Francis.  The Canticle of the Sun in its praise of God thanks Him for such creations as "Brother Fire" and "Sister Water". It is an affirmation of Francis' personal theology as he often referred to animals as brothers and sisters, rejected material accumulation and sensual comforts in favor of "Lady Poverty".: 

O Most High, all-powerful, good Lord God, to you belong praise, glory,
honor and all blessing.  Be praised, my Lord, for all your creation and especially for our Brother Sun,
who brings us the day and the light; he is strong and shines magnificently.  O Lord, we think of you when we look at him.  Be praised, my Lord, for Sister Moon, and for the stars which you have set shining and lovely in the heavens.  Be praised, my Lord, for our Brothers Wind and Air and every kind of weather by which you, Lord, uphold life in all your creatures.  Be praised, my Lord, for Sister Water, who is very useful to us, and humble and precious and pure.  Be praised, my Lord, for Brother Fire, through whom you give us light in the darkness:  he is bright and lively and strong.  Be praised, my Lord, for Sister Earth, our Mother, who nourishes us and sustains us, bringing forth fruits and vegetables of many kinds and flowers of many colors.  Be praised, my Lord, for those who forgive for love of you; and for those who bear sickness and weakness in peace and patience - you will grant them a crown. Be praised, my Lord, for our Sister Death, whom we must all face.  I praise and bless you, Lord, and I give thanks to you, and I will serve you in all humility.