The Torah and the Sermon on the Mount

Dear Folks,

Our Gospel today is the Beatitudes, the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount. This opens Jesus’ public teaching in the Gospel of Matthew and sets the stage for what follows.

To appreciate how the Sermon on the Mount is presented in Matthew, we need to talk about the Torah, which is the term the Israelites use for the first five books of the Bible. The word is usually translated “law”, but a rabbi told me that didn’t convey the meaning well. He said, “Sin is missing the target, and Torah means hitting the target. However, when you go through the Bible and see references to “statutes”, “ordinances” or “decrees” they are talking about the Torah. Psalm 1 and Psalm 119 are both hymns in honor of the Torah and say that it is the way to true blessedness. The Torah was the foundation of the nation of Israel and their relationship with God. Being in right relationship with God came

from doing the works of the law of Moses, the Torah. To this day, Jewish people revere the Torah and treat Torah scrolls with great reverence. They are kept in a cabinet called an “ark” (think ark of the covenant, not Noah’s ark), and taken out and carried in procession when read in prayer services.

Exodus 20 is a classic presentation of the giving of a new Torah. Moses goes up a mountain to receive it from God. It begins with the 10 Commandments (the pocket-sized version) and then expands on them. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus goes up the

mountain. He starts with the Beatitudes, the pocket-sized version, and then expands on them.

We, of course, would not call the Sermon on the Mount the new Torah. We would say that Jesus himself is the new Torah. Pope Benedict makes this point in his “Jesus of Nazareth”

book when referring to another mountaintop experience where Jesus in transfigured, and the Father speaks from a cloud and says, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him (Matthew 17:5).” St. Paul will argue extensively, especially in Romans and Galatians, that for Christians, being in right relationship with God is no longer works of the law of Moses, but about faithfulness to Jesus.

From now until Lent, we will take our Sunday Gospel readings from the Sermon on the Mount. I would challenge everyone to read Psalm 1, and then read Matthew chapters 5-7, and maybe even spend some time wrestling with them. As we go through the Gospel of Matthew this year, it would be useful to look for echoes from this sermon in Jesus’ teaching throughout the Gospel. I suggest that if people reflect on it from time to time, they could

find deeper insights on different parts of their Christian journey. A key concept to keep in mind is that this is not just a list of rules, of things to do and things not to do but a vision of total transformation, changing us to the core. The process is not done until we are fully perfected at the end of our journey (Mat 5:48).

Blessings,

Fr. Jim

Word of God

Dear Folks,

“I will make you fishers of men.”‘

This Sunday is dedicated as “Sunday of the Word of God.” Of course, we know that the first meaning of “Word of God” is Jesus Himself (John 1:1 and following), but we have long had the tradition of calling the Bible the Word of God and holding it in high reverence. God inspires many things, but nothing else is inspired on the level of Sacred Scripture. It is not just the power of the authoritative teaching, but we believe that Jesus is present to us in a special way when we read the Scriptures with an open heart. They are, of course, most powerful in the liturgy, especially the Eucharistic liturgy.

One of my goals in life is getting Catholics to know the Bible better. I’ve heard many Catholics tell me that the Church never encouraged them to read the Bible. I’ve worked very hard to make sure a lot of Catholics will not be able to say that anymore. Of course, it isn’t just reading, but getting to know, to go from being foreign tourists in the Bible to being at home in the Bible.

Good Catholic Bibles always have footnotes and cross references to give us some background on the language and the culture, and to see how everything is woven together.

For beginners, I do not recommend starting at the beginning and reading straight through without help. Some intrepid souls may do that, but most drop out. There are wonderful resources out there, including Ascension Press and the Augustine Institute. If you have access to Formed.org there are loads of good things there. If you don’t have immediate access to resources, I urge you not to wait. If you start reading through the Gospels a bit every day that will be a great beginning. You don’t have to do much, but every day, every day, every day. I challenge you if you do that, it will change the way you think. An alternative would be to read the Mass Readings every day. The three-year Sunday cycle and the two-year weekday cycle in the Roman lectionary will give you a very large amount of Scripture. A few minutes a day can make a huge difference over time, and you might just find you are hungering for more. We can never get enough in this life.

After eight years in the seminary and thirty-five years of priesthood, I find that the more I learn about the Scriptures, the more wonderful I see they are, and the more I want to explore further. The various books have a wonderful diversity, but they all fit together in one big story of salvation. We also learn that the Scriptures and the liturgy are interwoven: the Bible is very liturgical, and the liturgy is very Biblical. Knowing the Catholic faith is not just getting various tidbits of doctrine and morality but seeing how it all fits together in one big story of salvation, the story of God seeking to gather us to Himself and how this makes sense out of our lives. This will all help us to know Jesus better and share Jesus better. It is something everyone can do.

Blessings,

Fr. Jim

The Bride, the Lamb, and the Baptist

Dear Folks,

As we get back to ordinary time, we journey with Jesus and His followers in the Gospels. In our Gospel today, we see John the Baptist introducing Jesus with, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29).” He explains that he knew this by the power of the Holy Spirit. We remember this is the second time John the Baptist recognized Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit (See Luke 1:39-45). We are so used to calling Jesus the Lamb of God we can forget how strange it would sound at the time. He is, of course referring to the Passover Lamb, and the Gospel of John will develop the theme of Jesus and Passover quite extensively.

In the Gospel of John, the Baptists job is to introduce Jesus, and he will use two images: the Passover Lamb and the Bridegroom (see John 3:22-30). These two images are brought together at the end of the Book of Revelation with the wedding of the Bride (the Church) and the Lamb (Revelation 19:6-9; 21:9-21, note especially “Blessed are those who have been called to the wedding feast of the Lamb [Rev. 19:9]”).

John the Baptist will refer to himself as the “friend of the bridegroom” or the best man (John 3:29). If you read Brant Pitre’s book “Jesus the Bridegroom” he will explain that the role of friend of the bridegroom was critical in Jewish culture, and he brings the bride to the groom. He says that rabbinic literature will say God was playing the role of friend of the bridegroom when He brought Eve to Adam (Genesis 1:22). As we keep reading the Gospel of John we see that the next day the Baptist repeats the message to two of his disciples, including Andrew, and they start following Jesus (In bringing those who would be Church to the Lamb, John is acting as friend of the Bridegroom).

During Mass, the priest holds up the Blessed Sacrament and says, “Behold, the Lamb of God. Behold Him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the Supper of the Lamb.” Bringing together John 1:29 and Revelation 19:9, this spans the work of Jesus from beginning to end and our journey with Jesus from beginning to end; the whole of the great mystery of salvation, the great mystery of life is before us. If we take this seriously, it should make us tremble a bit. We respond, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the world and my soul shall be healed.” This precious phrase comes from Matthew chapter 8, right after the Sermon on the Mount (which began, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven [Mat. 5:3]”). Matthew 8 begins with two healings.

First, there is a leper, who was the poorest of the poor. He could offer Jesus nothing; he was totally dependent on Jesus’ mercy. The second, by contrast was a centurion asking for healing for his servant. He was, in material terms, probably the wealthiest and most powerful person ever to set foot in the little town of Capernaum, and he had been very generous to the people there (See Luke 7:4-5). If anyone could have expected to approach Jesus with a sense of entitlement, it was him. However, he makes this profoundly humble statement, “I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof (Mat 8:8; Luke 7:6-7).” He was materially wealthy, but he was poor in spirit, as we are called to be. We remember when people approached Jesus with a sense of entitlement, it does not end well (see Luke 4:14-30).”

We are called to remember, as we receive the most awesome gift of the Eucharist, that we so very much do not deserve this wonderful gift but we trust in His great mercy. This helps put us in the right disposition. In 1 Corinthians 11:27-30 St. Paul says some fierce things about those who receive Holy Communion without the proper disposition. Let us never forget what all this is about.

The Lord is calling us. How do we respond?

Blessings,

Fr. Jim

Seekers of the Light, Sharers of the Light

Dear Folks,

We celebrate Epiphany, which celebrates the light of the Gospel coming to the outside world. We remember that the story of Jesus is not just for us, but to be shared with all nations.

One of the big and most essential tasks of our generation is shifting many Catholics’ paradigm from Catholics as customers for spiritual services, to Catholics as coworkers in mission, ambassadors of the Gospel. Catholics have long not seen themselves as missionaries, nor have we been taught how to share the faith. Even in the seminary they never taught us to share the faith with those who don’t already believe. Of course, we can’t all be as talented as Fulton Sheen, and the challenge can be intimidating, but there are simple ways for us to start.

To share the faith, it is important to be seekers of God’s goodness, beauty, and truth.

The US Catholic Bishops did a document called, “Go Make Disciples” which suggested three basic tasks:

1. Grow in enthusiasm for the faith ourselves until it spills out of us (Continue to evangelize ourselves).

2. Invite everyone everywhere to share the fullness of the Catholic faith (Evangelize people: invite those outside the faith to come inside; invite those on the margins to come deeper; invite those in deep to come even deeper)

3. Transform society according to Gospel values (Evangelize society).

We can start by planting very small seeds. Some very simple things we can do to help draw people to the faith:

1. Learn something new about the faith and share it with someone

2. Tell someone something good about your faith community

3. Introduce yourself to someone you don’t know at church

4. Create a holy moment (an action that shows the love of God)

We, of course, can grow with learning and practice, and set things up for the next generation to go farther than we can. The more we learn about the goodness, beauty, and truth of the faith the more we have to share. We also remember that sharing is a separate skill that must be developed. We can all start where we are at. I would suggest that it would be good to consider how we might answer some key questions:

1. Why are you glad to have Jesus in your life?

2. Why is it a good thing to be a practicing Catholic Christian?

3. How does my life show that I believe in Jesus?

There is a lot of concern for the future of the Catholic Church, and for the future of our parishes. There is a lot of talk about what the Pope should do, what the bishop should do and so on. That energy could be better spent sharing the faith. The more people who are intentional about being ambassadors of the Gospel, the greater the hopes for the future.

The first step is always to fall more deeply in love with Jesus.

Blessings,

Fr. Jim

So Much in this Christmas Season

Dear Folks,

Merry Christmas! As the rest of the society is finishing their Christmas season, we are just getting started, and there is going to be a lot going on.

December 26 will be the Feast of St. Stephen. December 27 is St. John the Apostle and Evangelist. December 28 will be the Feast of the Holy Innocents. Holy Family is December 30; Mary the Mother of God is January 1; Epiphany is January 8 and Baptism of the Lord is January 9, ending the Christmas season.

These feasts weave together the themes of the celebration of family, marriage, children, sacrifice, the hostility of the world, and the proclamation of the Gospel.

A key part of learning the faith is learning how all the parts weave together; everything is connected to everything else. Jeff Cavins, in his Great Adventure Bible series, mentioned how people finish faith formation with “a heap of Catholicism.” They know tidbits, but there is no connection between them. I suggest this has a lot to do with why the faith doesn’t make as much sense or seem as important as it should.

The Christmas story already has foreshadowing of the Cross in the story of Herod and the slaughter of the Holy Innocents.

The essence of the Gospel is the gift of self. The Lord gave Himself completely for our salvation in the perfect act of love and invites us and enables us to receive that gift and give ourselves in love to Him. All of learning about Christianity is learning how to receive Him and how to give ourselves. Marriage, family, parenthood, and martyrdom are all ways in which people give themselves in love.

In the Gospel of John, John the Baptist’s big job is introducing Jesus, and he uses two images for Him: The (Passover) Lamb (John 1:29) and the Bridegroom (John 3:29). John (the evangelist, we must keep our Johns straight) will tie these two images together at the end of the Book of Revelation (Revelation 19:6-9; 21:9). (If you haven’t read Brant Pitre’s books “Jesus the Bridegroom” and “Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist” you are in for a treat.

From our family comes our first lessons in relationships, service, sacrifice, and vocation.

Baptism of the Lord celebrates Jesus beginning His public ministry, as we, children of God, are called to go forth into the world to transform it. So, December 25 to January 9 lays the foundation for what will follow in the rest of the liturgical year.

Christmas is a celebration of the greatest gift ever given, Jesus Himself. For nine months in mystery, He grew (they didn’t have ultrasound machines back then), and was revealed, first to Mary and Joseph, then shepherds, then magi, later the world. This is a time to consider God’s work of salvation throughout history, much of it hidden, then in the fullness of time revealed. It is also God is at work in our lives in mysterious ways, and we shall often see that only later looking back. I hope you have a blessed Christmas season, and I hope you ask the question, “How is God at work in me to make me a better disciple and missionary?”

Blessings,

Fr. Jim

The Power of a Baby

Dear Folks,

In the Gospel of Luke, we get the Angel Gabriel coming to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and in the Gospel of Matthew, we get things from St. Joseph’s perspective. In both stories the

angel says, “Do not be afraid.” I’m told the Bible has the admonition “Do not be afraid” 365 times. If we read the stories, we find it is not because the path will be smooth, painless, and safe that we should not fear, but because God is in charge and will make wonderful

things happen. Mary and Joseph certainly did not have an easy time, but I’m quite certain that they would tell you that it was infinitely worth what they went through.

When God is starting to do something great, it often begins with something small, and several times, with the birth of a baby. We see in the stories of Isaac, Samuel, Sampson, John the Baptist, and most of all Jesus, it begins with a birth announcement.

Babies are incredibly helpless, but parents testify that they take over the whole household, and everything revolves around them. Their mighty power comes from how they evoke love from people. Parents have testified how they look at them and the love just rushes forth. Their very helplessness draws something from us. They are so full of mystery and potential, and they strengthen our hope. I have been in very tragic situations where the family was in great anguish, but when someone held the baby, there was a smile and a moment of joy. Carl Sandburg said, “A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.”

This teaches us something about Jesus. When He was helplessly nailed hand and foot to the cross, He was winning the greatest of all victories, the victory over evil itself. When He was most helpless was precisely when He was most powerful. Such is the paradox of

Christianity. He saves us, drawing us out of our helplessness and sin, and enabling us to become creatures of love. St. Paul found that in his own life, as he relates a conversation with God: “but he said to me, ‘my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ I would rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell within me. Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships,

persecutions, and constraints for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).”

During this season when we celebrate our Lord becoming a baby, we can get quite stubborn in our hope. We decorate with lights in the darkest of winter. We want to give gifts where there is want. Many can generate a bit of joy where they normally could not. During my annual reading of “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens, it struck me how the ghost of Christmas present showed people in poverty and squalor who still had a Christmas thought

and would share a Christmas greeting, and perhaps hummed a Christmas hymn. There is a power there that circumstances cannot destroy. Such is the power of that Baby born in Bethlehem. However disappointing our year may have been, whatever we are struggling with now, God is at work, and let our hope be sharpened by the Lord who once slept in an animal’s feeding trough. He is the Light that the darkness cannot overcome (John 1:5).

Blessings,

Fr. Jim

Abundant Life

Dear Folks,

God made the world so that life could flourish, and he called us to steward the earth (Genesis 1:28; 2:15). Imagine, if human beings had done what we were supposed to do from the beginning, how much better the world would be. How many diseases would have

been cured, how we could have stopped the harmful effects of many natural forces. Perhaps we could have tamed mosquitoes, so they weren’t a problem. We might even have lettuce that tastes like bacon. Imagine the cumulative effects of all the good that people could have done but didn’t do, add the cumulative effects of all the active evil that people have done since the beginning of the human race, and that gives us the difference between the world God has wanted and the one we have. Instead of a lush world that we should have had, there is so much barrenness and death.

But God does not leave us there. A theme throughout the Bible is “where there was only death, there is now life.”

The stories about manna in the desert (Exodus 16), and water from the rock (Exodus 17) show us a desert that cannot sustain life, but God sustains them. This has an echo in the multiplication of the loaves and fishes (See Matthew 14).

Ezekiel preaching to the dry bones (Ezekiel 37) is a metaphor for a people in exile, whose country is, for all intents and purposes, dead, and God promises to bring them back to life, as He brings the dry bones to life.

The river from the temple that turns salt water fresh (Ezekiel 47). In a desert country where drinking water is always in short supply, salt water would be especially frustrating. When a river of fresh water flows into the ocean, it becomes undrinkable salt water. A river that

turns salt water fresh is a wonderfully life-giving river. This has its fulfillment in Revelation 22:1-2.

Sin makes our lives and our world barren and less life-giving, but the power of the Paschal Mystery brings new life. As a sign of this, Jesus cures the blind, the deaf and the lame, bringing dead eyes, dead ears, and dead limbs to life, He is showing the power that will

bring us, dead in our sins, to new life, a life of flourishing that the world cannot give.

As we proclaim the Gospel, a key part of our proclamation is helping people to flourish. This includes education (the mighty Catholic schools, as well as other educational programs for all ages), Feeding the hungry, visiting the shut-in, caring for the sick, and many other things that Christians do that can help the desert in people’s lives to bloom. These are valuable in and of themselves, of course, but they are signs that can help people when they ask if Jesus is the one they seek, or should they look for another (see

Matthew 11:1-6).

Blessings,

Fr. Jim

God Keeping His Promises

Dear Folks,

Our first reading from Isaiah 11 says, “A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jessie.” A bit of background is in order.

God had promised there would always be a son of David on the throne of Israel (see 2 Samuel 7:10-17). He made this promise after David got the idea to build the temple. One

of the reasons that the temple was important to people was as a sign that God would continue to be with them. One of the ongoing issues in the Old Testament was people thinking that because the temple was there, God would support them no matter how much

they disobeyed (see Jeremiah 4:4-7 for example). What God was saying to David was their security would be based on God’s faithfulness, not on a temple of stone. It would also mean

that God could not be owned, and would be quite free to hold them to account for their behavior (see Psalm 50) Since Jessie was David’s father, this was the family tree of Jessie.

In 586 BC, the Babylonian exile began, and the kingship was ended. The family tree of Jessie was cut off. People felt the promise of God had been broken. “Will the Lord reject us forever, never again show favor? Has God’s mercy ceased forever? The promise to go

unfulfilled for future ages? Has God forgotten how to show mercy, in anger withheld his compassion? I conclude ‘My sorrow is this, the right hand of the Most High has abandoned us (Psalm 77:8-11).”

Of course, God had not forgotten them, and was at work. The Gospels emphasize that Jesus is descended from David (Matt 21:30-31; Luke 1:32 and other places), making clear that is

Jesus, the promise to David was being kept. This came at a time after many had lost hope, and it came in a way they did not expect.

Our Gospel from Matthew 3 shows the ministry of John the Baptist calling people to repentance and baptism. Pharisees and Sadducees wanted to get baptized, and not necessarily because they were ready to repent. There is a danger of thinking that piling up religious devotions keeps us on God’s good side. John got cranky at them and said, “Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance (Matt 4:8).” Religious ritual and ceremony shows its value in our changed lives. God will keep His promises, but He also

calls us to keep ours.

Last Sunday I talked about the nationwide Catholic effort called Walking With Moms in Need (Walkingwithmoms.com). This is how the website describes it: “Walking with Moms in Need is a process through which Catholic parishes and communities “walk in the shoes” of local pregnant and parenting women in need. Everyone should know how to help moms in difficult circumstances. While not trying to turn Catholic parishes into pregnancy centers,

we can support local pregnancy centers where they exist, and we can also find and share other resources with pregnant and parenting women. And where there are few local resources, we can create our own, based on the gifts of the parish community!”

This is in keeping with the Church’s emphasis on helping those most in need, helping the most vulnerable, and supporting healthy families. It is about us fulfilling the promise of keeping Catholic teaching.

Saint Gianna Beretta Molla, patron Saint of doctors, mothers, and unborn children, pray for us and for our nation. Help us be attentive to God’s presence in everyone, especially the

weakest and most vulnerable.

Blessings,

Fr. Jim

Be Awake

Dear Folks,

We begin advent, a journey of waiting and preparing to be more welcoming to God. I challenge everyone to take a look at how we understand prayer and how we pray. It involves attentiveness to God’s presence. Jesus emphasizes the need to stay awake.

In our second reading, St. Paul says “You know the time; it is now the hour for you to awake from sleep. For our salvation now is nearer than when we first believed (Romans 13:11).”

Obviously, this does not mean that we should stop sleeping, sell our beds, fill up on coffee and try to be awake 24/7. We are still human and cannot function that way. So what does it mean?

“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap (Luke 21:34-35a).”

Notice two sources of drowsiness: pursuit of pleasure and anxieties of daily life. This should remind us of the parable of the sower (See Matthew 13:1-23). Seed that is sown on rocky ground withers because of some tribulation or persecution. Seed that is sown among weeds is choked by worldly anxiety and the lure of riches.

Perhaps being drowsy involves being so focused on the pleasures we pursue and the tasks and worries that pursue us that they fill our whole mind, and we start to think they are all that there is. We have heard stories of those who would spend all their time either at work or at the golf course and lost contact with their families, and they became strangers. The idea is not to remove all pleasure from our lives, nor to neglect our tasks, but to put them in proper context of our relationship with God. Heaven knows we struggle to balance the parts of our lives that are always competing for our attention, and they can be overwhelming. On vacation I read a book called “Juggling Elephants” about sorting your life like you were a ringmaster coordinating a three-ring circus.

I would ask you to consider some questions:

What if prayer is more important than you have thought it is?

What in our behavior shows that God is a dear friend to us?

Do we treat Him like a dear friend?

What if everything depended on a bit more prayer each day?

Is there anything else we do that we can shave just a couple minutes off from to make just a couple more minutes for prayer?

Even a brief minute attending to the presence of God several times a day can make a difference. What if we resolved this advent to make a bit more room for God every day? We might be surprised, first that we can do it at all, and second, how good it is to do it.

Saint Gianna Beretta Molla, patron Saint of doctors, mothers, and unborn children, pray for us and for our nation. Help us be attentive to God’s presence in everyone, especially the weakest and most vulnerable.

Blessings,

Fr. Jim

Strength in Weakness

Dear Folks,

Today we celebrate Christ the King. In our Gospel today (Luke 23: 35-43), we see Jesus portrayed as King, but appearing as unkingly as it is possible to appear. This is the great paradox of Christianity, that the greatest of all victories was won by what looked like the greatest of all defeats. This defies the wisdom of the world and turns it on its head. “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God (1 Corinthians 1:18, though I encourage you to read the whole chapter).”

In the Second letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul is dealing with a challenge. He had taught the Gospel to the Corinthians, but then some others came and claimed to be better apostles with a better Gospel. They called St. Paul weak, and unworthy of following. They boasted about how wonderful they were by comparison. St. Paul said he could boast too, and then talked about being imprisoned, flogged, shipwrecked, and similar things that were normally not cause for boasting. He accomplished great things because he was willing to be a suffering servant.

This is not possible without a close relationship with God. Christianity does not work as a project, as a set of beliefs and tasks. It is a love relationship, or it is not Christianity. Our Scribe and Pharisee friends tried to make it a project, a set of beliefs and tasks, but their hearts remained closed. “Although if I should wish to boast, I would not be foolish, for I would be telling the truth. But I refrain, so that on one may think more of me than what he sees in me or hears from me because of the abundance of the revelations. Therefore, that I might not become too elated, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan, to beat me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me, but he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.’ I would rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell within me. Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:6 -10).”

By the way, I’m very unhappy with the passing of Proposal 3. I’ve talked to a number of people who are also unhappy and would like to do something about it. We all can recognize that what we have been doing hasn’t been getting us where we need to go. I’ve connected with a few people on a project to shift the culture. The first step will be to pray (of course!), and I don’t mean saying a quickie prayer and getting to business, but serious time with God. Then we can talk about action, and I suggest that we work messages that promote empathy for unborn children. I’m tentatively calling this the “Notice Human Life Project.” Much more to be figured out, but this is a beginning.

Blessings,

Fr Jim