If we were having coffee, I would tell you how sadden I have been about the news of the police shootings and killing of two black men, and then the shootings of 11 police officers in Dallas, TX; resulting in deaths of five officers. There is an air of unease in the country right now; the black communities distrust and fear their police forces; the police feel threatened by the very people they have sworn to protect and serve. And there are politicians, who with their rhetoric are fanning the flames. Communities are becoming divided, hunkering down in their own enclaves, with no interest in dialogue.
It seems ironic that at Catholic Masses celebrated throughout this country, the Gospel proclaimed included these words:
“You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your being,
with all your strength,
and with all your mind,
and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10: 25-24)
The Gospel call is to see all people as our neighbors, to respect and to love them. And to talk with each other, and find common ground to reduce the stresses that threaten to tear this republic apart; whose 240th anniversary we have just celebrated.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my wife and I joined my siblings, and a cousin and his family at a cabin in Maine, which my aunt owns. It is on Lake Sokokis, in Limerick ME. It was too cool for swimming, but we did have a wonderful cookout.
If we were having coffee, I would share with my experience of leading a Sacrament of Baptism catechesis class for new parents who wish to have their infants baptized, and become part of the Catholic Church. I had five couples in attendance; one couple brought their newborn with them. The child slept through the class. I try to help these parents realize that the baptism of their children is not just an encounter with the love of God for the children; but also a special opportunity for them to encounter God, through the Holy Spirit. I tell them that when the priest will ask what they are asking of the Church, and they reply: “Baptism”; they and their child’s lives will be forever changed. The baby will experience a rebirth through the baptismal waters; they will have committed themselves to bring the child in the faith. And not just though placing the child in religious education classes; but by the example of their struggle to live the faith.
Well, my coffee mug is empty; it is almost midnight, and I have a long week to look forward to. See you all next time over a cup of coffee.