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What’s in the News

One of the things I like to write about here on my blog is current events in the news. I also desire to incorporate current events into my homilies. I think this is important because we need to show our faith is relevant today.

However, I don’t do this as much as I would like. I sometimes struggle to find things in the news to write about in the context of our faith. The struggle is not because of lack of relevance. The struggle comes in at least two ways. First, I wish to avoid getting into political discussions. Unfortunately, so much in the news today involves politics. Secondly, it seems like it is always the same stuff in the news. Certainly, the Coronavirus is in the news everyday. It seems like protests and riots are almost daily in the news along with acts of violence such as mass shootings. Then, there is the partisan politics. Our faith has something to say about all of these but I don’t want to seem like a broken record repeating myself.

In order to show that our faith does have something to say about these topics, today I am going to offer some short thoughts on them to give you something to think about. If you have questions about what our faith has to say about current things in our world, please feel free to use the comment feature at the end of this article to ask your questions.

Coronavirus – in the first two to three months of the virus shutdown, I think I made frequent references to it here (click here to see articles I included under the “Coronavirus” category). In one line, I would summarize by saying the shutdown has been an opportunity for us to think about our priorities, including our relationship with God.

Violence such as shootings – here I think we might often feel distant (when they happen in other states) and/or powerless. Especially when it happens in a distant location, we might feel like there is nothing we can do to make a difference. We can. We can always pray. We can also always seek to respond to negative actions of others with love. The only way to break the trend of violence is someone needs to be the first to love. Are you willing to respond with love when someone treats you badly?

Protests vs. riots – I think an essential part of making a difference here begins with distinguishing between protests and riots. I use “protests” to describe peaceful gatherings where people gather to speak against injustice. For example, yes, absolutely “Black Lives Matter” because all lives matter. Everyone is a child of God. Everything is given dignity by God that must be respected. When one’s dignity is not respected, we need to stand up, but one’s actions in standing up against injustice must be acts of love and not violence. Now, as I use the term, “riots” involve unhealthy violence. What good does looting do? What good does setting fires do?

Having said this, I return for a moment to the Coronavirus. There have been fights over people refusing to wear face masks in public. We don’t like wearing masks. They are annoying, hot, and can make it difficult to breath. However, I believe they do make a difference. States with face masks and social distancing requirements are doing better against the Coronavirus than those without such requirements. I don’t like to have to wear a mask either but I am willing to make the sacrifice to get ahead of the virus. Think of soldiers who sacrifice their lives for a greater good. We should be willing to wear face masks for the greater good of society.

Lastly, as I said I don’t like to get into politics, so just a brief comment about partisan politics. I pray for everyone to stop blaming the “other side.” What good does it do? Please avoid the negative comments about others and focus on positive steps and facts. Be the first to take the “high ground.”

I do not seek to do my own will. I do not seek to do the will of any political group. When I pray “thy will be done,” it is God’s Will that I seek to do.

Remember, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9).

Peace,

Fr. Jeff

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