Monday, December 30, 2013


    As a new year begins, we thank God for Pope Francis and for the hope he brings as he calls the church to respond more lovingly and effectively to Jesus' deep concern for the poor and outcast.  And may we also hope for a church that will become a more vibrantly effective People of God, a church in which all the baptized are listened to and respected, and which extends its loving care to the whole of our societies and cultures.

    When we say that God gave us Pope Francis and God leads the church, we speak the truth.  More precisely, we say that the church has effectively responded to God, who is ever present within all of us, prompting us to respond to him/her in a lovingly creative, healing and world-transforming way.  

   The history of the church clearly shows that we have not always responded to God as God intended.  Given the challenges the church faces, e.g., the still not fully resolved sex abuse tragedy, the questions of gay marriage, marriage after divorce, the rights of women, religious freedom in our American democracy, etc., our harmful responses can still occur.  

   Throughout the world, people are suffering.  Waiting is not an option.  In the coming year, in whatever way we can, may we be ever more sensitive to the Spirit's presence and intentions, and may we respond to the Spirit ever more positively and effectively. 

All blessings of peace and love,


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