Wednesday, November 5, 2008

"Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?" 10/26/08

"Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?"
Issue Date: October 26, 2008 (30A)

BURNING QUESTION: What does "Priesthood Sunday" mean to you?
FEATURED BLOG: If the youth are online, the Church must go there
STORIES OF RECONCILIATION: Building an Effective Peace Movement
PASTORAL HISPANA: El amor a Dios y al projimo el fundamento de nuestra fe

Dear Friends,

We start our journey this week with Discussion Questions on the Sunday Readings for use by prayer groups or for individualprayer. This Sunday, Jesus plays the role of the radical rabbi who dares rewrites the rules. St. Matthew relates the encounter Christ had with a lawyer who asked him a question, not in order to learn, but in a malicious plot to destroy Christ: "Which commandment in the Law is the greatest?"

This Sunday, October 26, is also Priesthood Sunday. First launched five years ago, this nationwide effort is designed to recognize the contributions of the clergy and to give the laity an opportunity to thank their pastors. Our Burning Question this week celebrates this event: What does "Priesthood Sunday" mean to you?

THE GREATEST COMMANDMENTS. Ever since we were little we have been taught the Ten Commandments. Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio asks us what if someone came along and told you there were only two commandments in the Bible that mattered, what would you say? Neither commandment is original to Jesus and there is nothing new about their being placed together. What is new, Fr. Alex McAllister explains, is that Jesus presents them as dependent on each other, inseparable one from the other.

RESTED IN LOVE. The commandments are all rested in Love. That's the message Deacon Alex Jones expresses in his podcast homily. Demetrius R. Dumm, O.S.B. adds that - even among humans - it is unconditional love that creates freedom, confidence and beauty. Such love is really divine. And Fr. Joseph Pelligrino preaches that loving God with our whole heart is really loving our neighbors as ourselves because it is loving as God loves. While Fr. John Foley, S. J. explains that all law, all life is really about fair care of one another. It is about loving concern for each other under God, and ultimately about imitating God’s love for us. Finally, Fr. Cusick tells us that the "sense of the sacred" is not optional for the Christian. And if we do not reverence the Lord, we cannot with sincerity say that we love him.

ELECTIONS 2008. Fr, Phil Bloom sees in the Sunday Readings another aspect of love: to do whatever positive we can. He says one aspect of Stewarship - or love - is political involvement and no adult citizen can shirk from it. Even our US Bishops have made many public statements about the moral issues. This prompted Fr. Jonathan Morris to ask a very relevant question, "Should Catholic Bishops Stay Out of Politics?" And from Rome, Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the papal household, talks about the "Profile of a Catholic Politician." He said last week's Gospel about Caesar and God explans the beginning of the separation of religion and politics, which until then had been inseparable among all peoples and regimes. Finally, Fr. John Corapi urges everyone to make a Novena and pray the Rosary to Our Lady of Victory between October 27th and Election Day, November 4th for the end to the "grossly sinful blight on society that is abortion."

CATHOLIC NEWS. From the Vatican, Cardinal Saraiva pointed out the parents of St. Therese as fruitful witnesses of conjugal love. Cardinal Walter Kasper spoke of the Bible and said it is the principal instrument of ecumenical dialogue for promoting Christian unity. And two Vietnamese Bishops attending the Bible Synod in Rome declared that while it has been highly persecuted, the Church in Vietnam isn't afraid. But the Communist regime is. Also a new Catholic pharmacy that opened in Virginia, is refusing as a matter of faith to sell contraceptives of any kind. No candy. No sodas. And no birth control. And ever wondered if that Saturday afternoon Mass you went to covered your Sunday Mass requirement? We have the answer for you.

QUEST FOR MASCULINE SPIRITUALITY. The Family Theater Productions is sponsoring "A Catholic Men's Conference" on November 1st in West Hollywood, CA. All men are invited to spend All Saints Day with other Catholic men for this free conference. Click here for details. We also have a related story that talks about how Friendship can be the key to the evangelization of men. And we have a very timely article for all men: Be a Modern Knight: Protecting Your Lady in the 21st Century.

YOUTH LIFE. A young Jesuit priest says, "If The Youth Are Online, The Church Must Go There." Spending hours online each day, he reflects on the challenges and value of his ministry to young people of the "Internet Age." And we talk about the largest Newman Center of its kind that has served some 70,000 students. It recently celebrated 80 Years of ministering to college students.

STORIES OF HOPE. Watch this amazing video of a a 3rd grade student in Dallas, Texas talking to the 2008 teacher's convention of 20,000 teachers. The words he's speaking about 'believing in me' are what we all should want and need to hear. And "Prescribed by the Great Physician" is an inspiring discussion on how God can use you to your full potential.

LIFESTYLE. The next time someone claims that Halloween is a cruel trick to lure your children into devil worship, we suggest you invite them to discover its Christian significance, along with the two greater and more important Catholic festivals that follow it. It's Halloween: The Real Story! We also bring you what scientists are now saying should be the five simple things you should do daily to stay sane. And finally, we give you "Oprah's Shortcuts to Healthy Meals."

Another eventful week in our Catholic world. Vote Life, Vote "Yes on Pro. 8 in California." Have a great and blessed new week.

Keep the Faith. Peace.

Wally Arida
Publisher & Editor in chief

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