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Blessed Are They Who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness

“Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be satisfied.”  These are words spoken by Jesus as he began his Sermon on the Mount.  They are words we heard this Sunday in church. 

Righteousness is to do God’s will, to do what is right and to stand up for what is right.  We are a people of compassion, compassion like Jesus showed for us in his willingness to die for us on the Cross.

Each year, our diocese here in Rochester holds a Public Policy Weekend the second weekend in February.  This year’s issue is “Working Out of Poverty.”    Often, the petitions focus on a particular bill under consideration in our New York State Government or Congress.  However, this year we take a different approach.  Mindful of the budget crisis New York State faces and knowing there will be many budgets cuts this year, our petitions ask our elected state officials to be mindful of the needs of the working poor.  Here are the exact words of the petition:

 Working Out of Poverty: Transportation and Child Care for Low-Income Workers

We understand that difficult decisions need to be made regarding the 2011-2012 New York State budget.

We, the undersigned, urge the Governor, the Assembly, and the Senate to give priority to programs that preserve and promote employment, with special attention to subsidies for child care and transportation for low-income workers.

This year we pay special attention to programs that help the working poor with child care and transportation expenses.  We must be aware that some of these people are only able to work because of these programs.  They may lose their jobs without the help.  What would we gain by cutting these programs if it leads to more unemployment?

Another area facing the budget ax is Medicaid.  Last week, our New York State Catholic Conference (www.nyscatholic.org) issued a statement (http://www.nyscatholic.org/pages/news/show_newsDetails.asp?id=526) .  Check it out and be mindful of those in need.

Peace,

Fr. Jeff

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