“Brothers and sisters: I declare and testify in the Lord that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds; that is not how you learned Christ, assuming that you have heard of him and were taught in him, as truth is in Jesus, that you should put away the old self of your former way of life, corrupted through deceitful desires, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, created in God’s way in righteousness and holiness of truth.” ~Ephesians 4
Dear Parishioners and Friends:
Paul's letter to the Ephesians encourages the Christian community to walk in the path of Christ as genuine followers and believers with unity and love in the midst of persecution. Just prior to Chapter 4, we read that every believer, chosen by God, has a divine purpose. "He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons and daughters according to His will."
In Chapter 4, today's reading, Paul states that we must "...no longer live as the Gentiles do..." but instead "put away the former self" of sinful ways and put on the "new self" as God intended. Our faith is meant to be a living witness to others.
Like in the time of Paul, we nowadays dwell in a society that is confused and misled when it comes to the treatment of other human beings. The fundamental norm of human life is that human life itself is a gift! Human life needs dignity and protection. We cannot substitute personal needs, ambitions, inordinate desires, greed, lust for power, or "personal freedom" to "do what I want" and expect that we are on the right path. Jesus teaches us that our hearts must be fixed on God's will, not our own wayward choices. We must be people of God's love in all things and have regard for every human being. As the sign in front of our church says... "Respect Life!"
Cardinal Timothy Dolan is inviting everyone to participate in a 9 week "Novena for the Legal Protection of Human Life" by praying on all Fridays from August 3rd to September 28th so that the Nation may move closer to a pro-life future. Those wishing to sign up for this call to prayer initiative can do so by visiting www.usccb.org/pray via email or text.
Let us join our prayers to His and change our world for the better.
May God Bless You this Week!