Kristin Romey and Ambassador Diego Gomez Pickering
On this week’s episode of Justlove Monsignor Kevin Sullivan speaks with two guests about the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe and What Archeology says about Jesus.
Ambassador Diego Gomez Pickering, who is Consul General of Mexico to New York City will be joining the show. Ambassador Gomez Pickering will be speaking to Msgr. Sullivan during this week when we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in December 12th – about his work representing the Mexican people here in New York City at the United Nations and other venues.
Kristin Romey, Archeology Editor at National Geographic will be on as part of Advent. Msgr. Sullivan and Kristin will be talking to us about the December cover story on “The Real Jesus: What Archeology Reveals about His Life” brought to us exclusively by National Geographic magazine
Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose hope is the LORD.
It’s not exacerbating to say we have crises with many of our major institutions. This post is not the place for a major expose, but let me just mention a few to make my point.
Business: Enron and the sub-prime mortgage debacle; Media: MSNBC, FOXNews, HuffPost & Daily Caller (Yes, now all sides can be upset, but in my opinion neither of those sources can be relied for anything close to accuracy.); Politicians: I don’t even have to mention names; Religion: clergy scandals and inter-religious violence; Education: Poorly educating public school and skyrocketing higher education costs.
I think my point is made. But the response it tricky – it is not to become an ostrich or total naysayer. It is to continue to slog through these and make our parts of them decent AND every step of the way to turn to God’s abiding presence in even the darkest of situations. God walks with us, but sometimes we are too pre-occupied with trying to solve the problems on our own and are narcissistically self-absorbed to notice and listen and take comfort in God’s nearness.
Whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.
Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Being great servants makes a nice holy card, but not in real life. There are the C-suites, seats in Church sanctuaries, inner circle tables at banquets, private banking floors, platinum memberships for early plane boarding, etc. These are what we strive for. We were taught by our families to work hard and get ahead. Our schools drive competition to be at the top of class. Thank God – but more precisely thank Jesus. He decided that being on top meant climbing to the top of Calvary’s hill and hanging on a cross so that He could save the world and all in it. He accepted a different way for our sake. Too bad it didn’t end there. He has insisted that His disciples – you and me – need to follow his example. These 40 days are the time to give this a more serious attempt.
On JustLove this week, Monsignor Sullivan speaks with two guests: Pat Keay of Director of Community Engagement of Heifer International and Professor David A. Croteau, Ph.D. of Columbia International University in South Carolina. On the show Pat Keay speaks with Monsignor Sullivan about Heifer International – a charity that donates livestock as well as environmentally sound agricultural training to families in need around the world. Heifer International also partners with Churches and other faith based and civic organizations to support their mission and how JustLove listeners can also contribute. Professor Croteau discusses his book “Urban Legends of the New Testament: 40 Common Misconceptions” and popular beliefs regarding Jesus’ Nativity.
Pope Francis’ recent talk about the how the Blood of Christ has redeemed us all – including atheists struck a chord with the world – and with me in a particular way. People often have asked me if Catholic Charities helps “non-Catholics.” At first this bothered me because Catholic Charities for as long as I can remember and much beyond has always helped people regardless of their religion. I was a little frustrated that after all these years people would still ask. But then I realized we must not have been doing a good enough job in making sure people knew this fact. So now in all material we put out about Catholic Charities, we always say: “Helping Non-Catholics and Catholics alike.” Every person is made in the image of God. And, in addition, we go out of our way to work with groups and organizations of all religions and no religions to further the common good and help those needing a helping hand.
Maybe Pope Francis was getting a little frustrated that some people didn’t realize that Jesus had come to save them – even if they weren’t Catholics or even Christians. I have included a few excerpts below and the link to the Pope’s full message:
“The Lord has created us in His image and likeness, and has given us this commandment in the depths of our heart: do good and do not do evil”…
But, Father, this is not Catholic! He cannot do good.’ Yes, he can. He must. Not can: must! Because he has this commandment within him….
“The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone! And this Blood makes us children of God of the first class! We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.”
Over the past year, our country has debated how we should treat foreigners and immigrants. How do we treat those who come here with the right immigration papers? How do we treat those who are here without the right papers- estimated now at 12 million individuals living and working in the United States?
This debate reminds me of the biblical story of Jesus and the lepers. In this story, ten men suffering from leprosy, the most dreaded disease during biblical times, approached our Lord, calling out “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” Jesus cured them all yet only one special person, a Samaritan – a foreigner — returned to thank Him.
Today, November 13, 2013, we celebrate the feast day of one of the first great immigrant saints: Frances Xavier Cabrini. Frances Xavier Cabrini herself knew why she needed to work so robustly with the Italian immigrant community here to serve their needs, to assist them, to empower them because she, herself as an immigrant, was sent here by the Pope, and similar to the Samaritan was treated by the Irish dominated church here as an outsider. They wanted no part of her. They didn’t think that she had anything to offer here. They were told repeatedly by the Pope that they had to accept her and allow her to work with immigrants. Today, she serves as an incredible example for the church in the United States that we are a church of immigrants, we are a church that needs to be open to immigrants and in fact through our institutions, our church, our schools, our parishes, our charitable organizations, we quite frankly have turned a significant corner in being in the forefront of welcoming immigrants and being a light to the rest of our country in regard to the need for fair and humane immigration laws.
In gratefulness for that I would propose that we hold this Italian woman, herself once rejected, finally exalted as a saint. Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini has called the church in America to be one that follows the command of Jesus, the command to welcome the stranger.