This week’s JustLove broadcast is focused on Earth Day 2017. Joining the show to talk about this annual event are two guests: Richard Fuller, President and CEO of Pure Earth, an international non-profit based in New York dedicated to solving pollution problems in low and middle income countries; and David R. Shuffler, Jr, Executive Director of Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice, a Catholic Charities Affiliate.
Msgr. Sullivan and Richard will be speaking about the work of Pure Earth, and how the cleanup of environmental pollution is one global problem that has very achievable solutions.
David R. Shuffler, Jr. will be covering his the South Bronx based youth organization, which is dedicated to rebuilding the neighborhoods which it serves by preparing young people to become prophetic voices for peace and justice. Msgr. Sullivan and David will be discussing the Infrastructure Transformation work of Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice, and how the group has been instrumental in efforts to revitalize the Bronx River Waterfront and Sheridan Expressway Corridor.
Lent is over and now we begin to celebrate these three most sacred days that commemorate the center of our Christian faith. Paying homage to our Jewish roots, we begin after sunset “on the night before he died,” and keep a modified vigil. Tomorrow, we will lift high the cross. On Saturday & Sunday, we will light the Easter flame, discover anew the empty tomb, and proclaim for ourselves and for the world that he is not among the dead, but here, with the living.
For this reason, it is important that we not get distracted today by some of Holy Thursday’s evocative traditions. Some still dwell on the ordained priesthood. Others focus on the solemn procession and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Still others spotlight the moving ritual of the washing of the feet.
However, as inspiring as these may be, none are the heart of the first of the Sacred Triduum celebrations during the three days that lead up to Easter. For this, we turn to today’s appointed scripture readings that, each in its own way, draws us to the irremovable, yet not gentle, core of these days:
It is profoundly tragic that the last day of Lent is referred to as Spy Wednesday after Judas, the traitor who takes his own life in remorse. This makes the celebration of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus even more compelling. Out of the depths I cried…. And the Lord heard my cry…
A wise colleague often says, “When climbing the mountain, it’s good to look back periodically and see how far we have come.” Today is the symbolic 39th day of Lent. We’ve come a long way. Only one more day remains of our Lenten discipline before we enter into the great celebrations of our Christian faith.
There is so much humanity in God’s world. Isn’t that the story of creation? As one of the stories goes, it was God’s garden and He made us humans and put us in it. It was a neat place with lots of good things and everything in order. Then things got messed up by “apple-gate” – as I like to call it. After that things weren’t so good and humans had to live in a big bad disordered world outside the garden. God didn’t abandon us, but he made it harder to figure things out by allow things to get pretty messed up and now and then playing “hide & seek” with us. But if we take the time, his presence is always found to be with us.
I can figure out two reasons why Jesus annoyed the people of his time. The first is the traditional understanding. The political and religious leadership thought he was getting too popular and might usurp their respective spheres of power and authority. That’s understandable, even if not noble. But the other reason you and I can relate to. Sometimes individual who are kind, humble, giving and content can make us jealous, frustrated, and even angry? So maybe that’s why some others didn’t follow Jesus. Well, maybe in our time we should think about those kind and loving people as God’s gift to the world and to ourselves. We might learn from and imitate their example.
On this episode of JustLove, Monsignor Kevin Sullivan will be speaking with Fred Parrella, Professor of Theology in the Department of Religious Studies at Santa Clara University in California, and Mehnaz Afridi, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Manhattan College in the Bronx.
Msgr. Sullivan and Prof. Parrella – who has been teaching at the Jesuit university based in Silicon Valley for 40 years – will be discussing the religious faith and practice of today’s college students, and what their often self-description as “spiritual, but not religious” bodes for the future, and what – if anything – can be done to counter this trend.
Prof. Afridi – who is also the Director of the Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Education Center at Manhattan College will be discussing the practices of fasting, charity/service, and prayer in the Islamic Tradition as a continuation of our Lenten conversations on “Making Lent Great Again 2017!”
It was perfect in the Garden of Eden – not so much since then. If you want to blame it on Adam & Eve and the apple, fine with me. In any case we live in a world that is not perfect and very unfair at times. It’s more unfair to some than others, but we all experience times when we are confronted with injustices, small or big, not of our own faults. We need to react to them in a way that remains faithful to the values that guide us – disciples of Jesus. Another’s unfairness to us does not give us liberty to be unfair to others. Let’s be clear we do not seek to be treated unjustly and we need to try to fix them. There is no value in “playing the victim.” But try as we might, we will not remedy every injustice for ourselves and others. We need to maintain the discipline to live faithfully in these circumstances.
On this week’s episode of JustLove, Monsignor Kevin Sullivan will be speaking with two guests focused on St. Patrick’s Day and Lent.
Kyle Clifford, Vice President of Development for The Ireland Fund will be discussing the work of his organization and how it contributes to the development of “peace, culture and charity.” The Ireland Fund is a global fundraising network for people of Irish ancestry and friends of Ireland. It is dedicated to raising funds to support programs of peace, reconciliation, arts, culture education and community development throughout Ireland.
Rabbi Jon Leener co-founder of BASE-Brooklyn will be speaking with Monsignor about Lent and the practices of fasting, charity, prayer and service in the Jewish Tradition. BASE-Brooklyn is a Jewish Community committed to pluralism and is founded on 3 core principles: hospitality, learning and service. This group is an affiliate of Hillel International and supported by the UJA-Federation of New York
Lots to think about and do: “repairing the breach; delighting in the Sabbath; following Jesus; hanging out with sinners.” Plenty to do today, but these are too many for one day – and somewhat complex. We’re going to borrow some of these for another Lenten day.