In today’s Gospel Jesus asks: “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” There are a number of responses until Simon Peter says: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” This is a positive moment in Peter’s encounter with Jesus. There are other times when he is not so positive and affirming. Rather than be critical of Peter, we have to admit that sometimes we fluctuate in our living out of our faith commitment; sometimes we are strong and at other times we may vary. The challenges of our lives are what influence the strength of our commitment, but no matter what they may be, we still are committed to the Lord. What would we do without our faith!
Next weekend we welcome members of the Blessed Sacrament Father and Brothers who will be here as part of the Archdiocese’s Missionary Cooperative Plan. The second collection at all Masses will be taken for the support of their ministries.
Finally, I want to share with you the statement from the U.S. Franciscan Friars on the recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia:
-Fr. Andrew Reitz, O.F.M.
As followers of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron of peace, we, the Franciscans Friars of the United States join with the many public and religious leaders and fellow-citizens who have condemned the recent violence in Charlottesville, VA.
We hold that all forms of racism, white supremacy, neo-nazism, xenophobia and hatred are wrong.
Because we believe that every person is created by God in love, we also hold that disrespect or diminishment of—or violence against–anyone offends not only that person but also the One who created that person.
As Franciscans, we strive to be bridge-builders. To avoid future instances of the tragic violence that tore not only the community of Charlottesville but also the fabric of our nation, we call for a renewed commitment to respectful dialogue by all, whereby our opinions and differences can be shared in constructive and illuminating ways that lead to the possibility of growth and conversion for all. Such dialogue might lead us beyond the overt displays of violence and intolerance into an understanding of the subtler and even unconscious forms of discrimination and intolerance that may still inhabit our hearts as well as our society.
We commit ourselves to the responsibility of respect for and dialogue with all who seem “other” than ourselves. And we pray that all the citizens of our nation will join in striving to attain respect and peace in our communities.