Sunday, September 15, 2019

September 15, 2019
The Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity
(1 Timothy 1:12-17; Luke 15:1-10)
Today, as I sometimes do, I am deviating from the readings in my sermon. Given that our branch of Catholicism is on the more liberal branch of things, I get asked questions that sometimes inspires me to write something or create a sermon based on these interactions, and today is one of those days.
Without going into specifics that will make this sermon longer than it already is, I merely want to touch on a little bit of our theology on something that influences our view on more specific topics. Our views on sexuality and birth control as examples. We view these topics with far less restrictions than many churches do – even in these “modern” times.
It’s pretty common these days for people to dismiss Christians in general as inconsistent because “they follow some of the rules in the Bible and ignore others.” The challenge usually sounds something like this: “When the Bible talks about certain sexual behaviors as sin, you quote that; but when it says not to eat shellfish or that you should execute people for breaking the Sabbath, you just ignore it. Aren’t you just picking and choosing what suits you best?”
I’ve had this said, and utterances like it, to me a few times, and truthfully it carries a lot of weight, and not just from non-Christians. Many Christians have a hard time answering it … which is why we just secretly hope it never comes up.
God’s laws were given to help people love God with all their hearts and minds. Throughout Israel’s history, however, these laws had often been misquoted and misapplied. By Jesus’ time, religious leaders had turned the laws into a confusing mass of rules. (Some churches are still doing this.) When Jesus talked about a new way to understand God’s law, he was actually trying to bring people back to its original purpose. Jesus did not speak against the law itself but against the abuses and excesses to which it had been subjected (see John 1:17).
One of the most helpful ways to think about this is to look at the types of laws there are in the Old Testament. The 16th-century Reformer John Calvin saw that the NT seemed to treat the OT laws in three ways. There were Civil Laws, which governed the nation of Israel, encompassing not only behaviors, but also punishments for crimes. There were Ceremonial Laws about “clean” and “unclean” things, about various kinds of sacrifices, and other temple practices. And then there were the Moral Laws, which declared what God deemed right and wrong—the 10 Commandments, for instance.
For OT Israel, all three types of laws blended together. Breaking a civil or a ceremonial law was a moral problem; conversely, breaking a moral law had a civil (and often ceremonial) consequence. But they only went hand-in-hand because Israel was in a unique place historically, as both a nation and a worshiping community. “Separation of church and state” wasn’t one of their core tenets. That’s not the case for the Church today, so the way we view the Law would have to look different.
All of this helps explain what often seems contradictory about the NT view of the Law. On one hand, Jesus said the Law was perfect, that heaven and earth would pass away before the Law would fail (Matt 5:18). On the other hand, the Apostle Paul points out that those who are born again – reborn in the teachings of Christ - are actually released from the Law (Rom 7:1-6; Gal 3:25). As Jesus himself put it, he came to fulfill the Law (Matt 5:17).
What does it mean that Jesus fulfilled the Law? It means that every law pointed to him, and he completed everything they pointed to. Thinking of Jesus as the fulfillment of the Law helps us see why we keep some of the OT commands and “ignore” others.
The New Testament says that the Old Testament law was intended “to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith” (Galatians 3:24). The ritual laws of sacrifice teach us that “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22) and point us to Jesus on the cross.
The Civil Laws, for instance, were set up so the nation of Israel could thrive. Jesus actually emerged from this nation, but he started a new Israel—a spiritual Israel, the Church. We’re no longer bound by the civil codes of Leviticus because God doesn’t have a nation-state on earth anymore. Of course, we may wisely look at some of the principles in Israel’s civil laws as we think of our own societal politics (principles about public health, caring for the poor, etc.), but the specific rules were all fulfilled in Jesus. There is no longer a nation-state of Israel. Now there is the kingdom of God.
The Ceremonial Laws illustrate for us God’s holiness, our unholiness, and what God would do about it. The entire sacrificial system should have ingrained into Israel’s minds just how large the gap was between sinful humanity and a perfect God—and just how costly it would be to bridge that gap. And as the book of Hebrews shows us, the sacrifices were all fulfilled in Jesus’ perfect life and death. If we accept Jesus, the ultimate sacrifice, we don’t need the lesser sacrifices anymore. In fact, it would actually be offensive to go back to them, because that would communicate that Jesus’ sacrifice wasn’t sufficient.
The Moral Laws are fulfilled in Jesus as well, in that he kept all of them perfectly, every day, always, for his entire life. But unlike the civil and ceremonial laws, which were more time-bound, these laws reflected God’s assessment of good and evil, right and wrong. They reflect God’s character, and since his character doesn’t change, his views on morality don’t either. In fact, whenever Jesus mentioned the moral laws, he either reaffirmed them or intensified them! To follow Jesus is to love what he loved, including the moral law.
Now, even though we still defend the moral laws of the Old Testament, we have to keep in mind that Jesus fulfilled it all. The Christian is not under obligation to keep the moral law as a way of earning her way to God. Instead, she is changed by the presence of God’s Spirit to desire to keep God’s laws. Because God isn’t just after obedience; he’s after a whole new kind of obedience, an obedience that comes from love and delight in God. Christians keep the moral commands, not because “it’s the law,” but because they love God and want to be like him.
There have always been groups of Christians who believe that in order to honor God’s authority in the Old Testament we must continue to obey the food laws and other ceremonial laws, lest we be found in disobedience. There is a good impulse in this and a profoundly bad impulse in this. The good impulse is the desire to obey God. There’s nothing wrong with that. That belongs to what it means to be a Christian. The bad impulse is the failure to obey Christ who teaches us how to obey God in regard to the Old Testament.
So, the good impulse starts, perhaps, with a text like Matthew 5:17–18. Jesus says, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” And the good impulse puts the emphasis on every dot, every iota of the law standing until the earth passes away. And the bad impulse neglects the words, I have come “to fulfill them,” and the words, “until all is accomplished.”
In other words, the bad impulse fails to see in Jesus the kind of fulfillment and the kind of accomplishment of the Law and the Prophets that God always intended in the Old Testament as the consummation and the end of the ceremonial laws. So, the effort to hold on to the prohibition of eating pork is, in effect, a refusal to submit to God’s plan for the fulfillment of the Law in Jesus.
Let’s be specific now. Take the laws about foods in the Old Testament — unclean foods, which include pork. Jesus said something very specific about this in Mark 7:15–19. He said this:
“There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean. There is acknowledgement, however, that what one person deems “food” and that of another may be different.)
In other words, the prohibition of certain foods as unclean was a temporary part of God’s way of making Israel distant or distinct from the nations of the world. With the coming of Christ, dramatic changes take place in the way God governs his people, because we are no longer a political-ethnic people like the Jews were in Old Testament times, but a global people from every tribe and language and ethnicity and race.
So, the next time someone starts saying that you’re arbitrarily picking and choosing from the Bible, arm yourself with the civil/ceremonial/moral. You aren’t being arbitrary. You’re being faithful. You’re reading the Old Testament how the New Testament teaches you to. So, eat your shrimp without guilt, and don’t throw away your 10 Commandments just yet.
Let us pray.
That Church leaders everywhere will be inspired by today’s Gospel to seek the lost and bring them back into a living relationship with God and the Church. We pray to the Lord.
We pray for those who have lost loved ones. We pray particularly for those who have lost sons or daughters through death that they be comforted in the belief that they have been received into eternal life by a Father who loves them with an everlasting love. We pray to the Lord.                        
For peace in our hearts, that we may be motivated to find nonviolent ways to handle discord and disagreement and bring peace to our world and our neighborhoods. We pray to the Lord.
That those who are separated from family because of long-festering disagreements will come to their senses and seek reconciliation. We pray to the Lord.
That all Christians will follow the Golden Rule – the two great Commandments of Christ – that in so doing they fulfill all the requirements of God and the old Law. We pray to the Lord.
We pray for those who have lost their faith and belief in our God. We pray, Lord, that the Holy Spirit reveal to them the wonder of your creation, the joy of salvation and the hope for eternity that is found only in you. We pray to the Lord.                        
At this time of turmoil for politicians, we pray that our governments act with care and consideration and give priority to helping those who suffer from poverty, lack of insurance, deprivation, loss of employment, loss of home and loss of hope. We pray to the Lord.
For those on our parish prayer list, that they may find consolation through Christ’s healing presence. We pray to the Lord.                  
We bow our heads and remember in silence our own personal intentions and the intentions of those who have asked for our prayers (pause). We pray to the Lord.
Father God, we often struggle with right and wrong. Your Son came to, not only to show us an easier way, but to offer us salvation on the condition of faith. Help us to follow his commandments to love others and to love you, and to know that when do this, we will fulfill all laws that are pertinent and not concern ourselves with those which are not. God of mercy and love, you have always welcomed your people back no matter how far we have strayed. Listen to our prayers and bless us on our journey as we seek our home in you. We ask this and all our prayers through Christ our Lord. Amen.
God Love You +++
++ the Most Rev. Robert Winzens
Pastor – St. Francis Chapel
San Diego, CA

Sunday, September 8, 2019

September 8, 2019
The Nativity of Our Lady
(Micah 5:1-3; Matthew 1:1-23)
The Catholic Church celebrates today the birth of the Our Lady Mary on its traditional fixed date of September 8, nine months after the December 8 celebration of her Immaculate Conception as the child of Saints Joachim and Anne.
The circumstances of the Virgin Mary's infancy and early life are not directly recorded in the Bible, but other documents and traditions describing the circumstances of her birth are cited by some of the earliest Christian writers from the first centuries of the Church.
These accounts, although not considered authoritative in the same manner as the Bible, outline some of the Church's traditional beliefs about the birth of Mary.
The Protoevangelium of James (also known as the Gospel of James), which was probably put into its final written form in the early second century, describes Mary's father Joachim as a wealthy member of one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Joachim was deeply grieved, along with his wife Anne, by their childlessness. “He called to mind Abraham,” the early Christian writing says, “that in the last day God gave him a son Isaac.”
Joachim and Anne began to devote themselves extensively and rigorously to prayer and fasting, initially wondering whether their inability to conceive a child might signify God's displeasure with them.
As it turned out, however, the couple were to be blessed even more abundantly than Abraham and Sarah, as an angel revealed to Anne when he appeared to her and prophesied that all generations would honor their future child: “The Lord has heard your prayer, and you shall conceive, and shall bring forth, and your seed shall be spoken of in all the world.”
For nine months, the soul of Mary had given form to her virginal body, and the hour of her happy birth approached. The prophecy of Isaias had come to pass. The root of Jesse, ten centuries removed, had sprouted a new branch. On this same branch in but a few years more would blossom the eternal Flower, the Incarnate Word.
After Mary's birth, according to the Protoevangelium of James, Anne “made a sanctuary” in the infant girl's room, and “allowed nothing common or unclean” on account of the special holiness of the child. The same writing records that when she was one year old, her father “made a great feast, and invited the priests, and the scribes, and the elders, and all the people of Israel.”
“And Joachim brought the child to the priests,” the account continues, “and they blessed her, saying: 'O God of our fathers, bless this child, and give her an everlasting name to be named in all generations' . . . And he brought her to the chief priests, and they blessed her, saying: 'O God most high, look upon this child, and bless her with the utmost blessing, which shall be for ever.'”
The protoevangelium goes on to describe how Mary's parents, along with the temple priests, subsequently decided that she would be offered to God as a consecrated Virgin for the rest of her life, and enter a chaste marriage with the carpenter Joseph.
According to certain traditions, however, no one in the small town of Nazareth where Saints Joachim and Anne lived paid heed to the new arrival. Although the blood of David flowed in her veins, her family had fallen from its ancient splendor.
Anne and Joachim had been childless for many years, but the Lord had at last answered their prayers. They saw their daughter Mary as the measure of His celestial goodness to them. Little did they suspect, however, the veritable treasures the Most High had instilled in the soul of their child. They could not have imagined the wonder of her Immaculate Conception. They did not realize that the Mother of the Redeemer lay in their loving arms.
The Jews of the time were plunged in discouragement. The voice of the prophets had not been heard for years. Having lost their political freedom, they believed Providence had abandoned them. It was then that the hidden work of infinite Mercy began to be accomplished in their midst.
This great mystery also teaches us never to lose heart. The Immaculate Mother came into the world at a time when the Jews had lost hope. Indeed, they thought all was lost. Let us reap the benefit of this lesson. We often become discouraged when, calling on heaven to assist us, our request is not immediately granted. Sometimes God waits until we are on the brink of the abyss before extending His hand of mercy. So, let us not become discouraged and cease praying! The Almighty will intervene at the very moment when we believe ourselves completely abandoned. If we have confidence—an unlimited supply of confidence—we will be greatly rewarded!
Saint Thomas of Villanova explained in a sermon that Mary is the heavenly dawn, not only for the world, but especially for each individual soul. He recalled the great truth taught by Catholic tradition that a soul imbued with devotion to the Blessed Virgin carries within it the sign of predestination. Do you firmly desire to be saved from final damnation? Then faithfully honor Mary. Do you wish to guarantee the salvation of those who are dear to you? Obtain from them the promise that they not fail to recite some prayer to Mary every day.
We know by Tradition, that Our Lady was born with the saving grace of our Lord, prior to his birth. She experienced in advance the saving grace we now receive from Christ due to his life, death and resurrection. We are washed clean, first because the Divine Lord willed that Joachim and Anne would be given a baby girl, but one that would be immaculately conceived, without the stain of Sin. Second, because Our Lady consented to be the mother of our God.
What joy we should have on this special day. For it was Our Lady who brought forth our salvation and became the Mother of all mankind. Amen.
Let us pray.
That the Church may fearlessly proclaim the Gospel committed to her by Mary’s Son. We pray to the Lord.
That those without faith may turn to the Lord who was born to save his people from their sins. We pray to the Lord.
That we will give all mothers love and respect. We pray to the Lord
That Mary’s prayers will bring back those who have fallen away from the
practice of their faith. We pray to the Lord.
That we may welcome Jesus in the Eucharist as God-with-us. We pray to the Lord.
For those on our parish prayer list, that they may find consolation through Christ’s healing presence. We pray to the Lord.                  
We bow our heads and remember in silence our own personal intentions and the intentions of those who have asked for our prayers (pause). We pray to the Lord.
Father, in this Eucharist your family rejoices, with blessed Mary, and Joachim and Anne, her parents. Father, help us to do your will even when it is difficult. Help us to be like Mary and respond YES to what He asks of us. Almighty and everlasting God, who stooped to raise fallen humanity through the child-bearing of blessed Mary: grant that we, who have seen your glory revealed in our human nature and your love made perfect in our weakness, may daily be renewed in your image and conformed to the pattern of your Son. Grant what we ask for in faith, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
God Love You +++
++ The Most Rev. Robert Winzens
Pastor – St. Francis Chapel
San Diego, CA

Sunday, September 1, 2019

September 1, 2019
The Eleventh Sunday after Trinity
Labor Day
(Sirach 3:17-18, 20, 28-29; Luke 14:1, 7-14)
On a typical morning, most of us rise from our beds and shuffle into the bathroom.
It’s our first stop of the day.
Invariably, we’ll spend at least a few minutes glaring at ourselves in the mirror. It’s not usually a pretty sight, given what bed does to our hair and what minimal clothing can do to highlight our various body bulges and skin imperfections. Add to that some puffy eyes, a nick from shaving and a little toothpaste dribbling out the side of the mouth — well, it’s enough to make you look and feel like you just escaped from some kind of home for the deranged.
Things can quickly improve, however, when you shower, comb through that hair, slap on deodorant and put on appropriate clothing and maybe some makeup. That is, of course, until you grab your phone and open a social media app like Facebook or Snapchat or check the news for the latest celebrity gossip. There you notice all the smiling, perfectly airbrushed faces that confront you every day. Try as you might, no amount of man or woman sculpting will make you look like a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model or produce abs like that dude in the underwear ad that pops up in your feed.
You think about posting a selfie (who doesn’t these days?), but you’re worried that you’ll have to present the world with your regular face, which is no match for the beautiful people online or even your friend’s smiling pics from Aruba.
Not to worry — there’s an app for that! With a photo filter like Facetune or the editing features of Snapchat, you can do a little tweaking. Erase that mole, nip and tuck that spare tire, get a little creative around the eyes and voila! You have just put your best selfie self out into the world.
All is well … until you look in the mirror again. Then disconnect between your real self and your virtual self begins to sink in.
In the age of the selfie, medical professionals have identified a new phenomenon called “body dysmorphic disorder,” or Snapchat disorder, to put it more colloquially. As The Journal of the American Medical Association describes it: “The pervasiveness of these filtered images can take a toll on one’s self-esteem, make one feel inadequate for not looking a certain way in the real world, and may even act as a trigger for body dysmorphic disorder (BDD).”
Some people become so enamored with their virtual selves that they seek help, not from a psychologist but from a plastic surgeon who can help them look more like their altered selfies. According to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the number of patients seeking this kind of selfie-altering surgery increased by 13 percent between 2016 and 2017.
We live in a culture where getting real about ourselves is often a challenge. Altering our bodies to fit a vision of perfection can be damaging, but what happens when we do the same thing to our souls? If it’s possible to have a dysmorphic conflict between the real and virtual selves we present to the world, it follows that the ways in which we think and behave can have the same disconnect. We might sculpt our personalities and social postures to appeal to others and make us seem like more than we are, rather than being humble and realistic about our flaws and our human needs. When we have this kind of soul dysmorphia, it becomes easier to see others as inferior to our inflated and airbrushed selves.
Jesus, however, had a tendency to drop into people’s lives, cut through the airbrushed veneer and hold up a mirror to expose the true self. He did it not from a position of superiority (even though he was God in the flesh) but from the position of one who, despite his fully human and fully divine nature, was humble and always projected his authentic self. He was such a contrast to the other religious leaders of his day, who were all about keeping up appearances. At a Sabbath banquet in the home of one such leader, Jesus addressed the problem of soul dysmorphia and challenged the people around the table to get real about who they were and who God wanted them to be.
According to Luke, at the meal the Pharisees were “watching [Jesus] closely.” While it was expected that a virtuous host would invite a prominent teacher to dinner, it was clear that the host’s motives here were suspect. We know that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem and the cross and there would be plenty of prominent religious leaders who want to trip him up and find a way to get rid of him. Everything Jesus said would be analyzed and scrutinized, but time and again his words were consistent with his actions.
What we do not see in our Gospel reading today, because it is verses (2-6) that were in between our reading, is that at the meal was a man with dropsy — a condition that causes the body to swell from excess fluids. Clearly, this man’s selfie needed to be enhanced with some apps and filters! Every day, his mirror gave him the awful reality: He needed help and needed it soon! He was ill and getting worse.
Since it was the Sabbath, Jesus asked the elite around the table, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” Interestingly, the Pharisees were silent.
Jesus healed the man, sent him on his way, and then asked another question about pulling a child or an ox out of a well on the Sabbath. Again, they couldn’t answer.
Their silence is instructive. Jesus had baffled them and forced them to do some introspection. The Pharisees, like many people in Jesus’ day, were keeping up appearances, jostling for position in the eyes of God and the eyes of their fellow Jews. They were eager to put on a good face, showing how well they were keeping the law and maintaining their purity. If they had had an Instagram account, you can be certain they would have been constantly posting carefully staged and gauzy, halo-hazy shots of themselves engaging in acts of piety.
Seeing Jesus heal a man with an obvious problem that would make him unclean, and on the Sabbath no less, would offend their self-righteous sensibilities even though, as Pharisees, they may have technically agreed with Jesus’ assertion. If keeping up appearances is important, one must avoid potential embarrassment and the awkward moment. Better not post a picture of being bested by a homeless rabbi from Nazareth!
Jesus noticed a lot of jockeying for position at the table as different people vied for the place of honor. In response, he told a parable about a wedding banquet which, on the surface, seems to be a kind of Emily Post-style instruction on etiquette but, in reality, is much more.
That Jesus talked about a “wedding banquet” may indicate a larger agenda here. In different places in the Scriptures, the wedding banquet sometimes serves as a symbol for the coming kingdom of God, as it does here in Luke (Matthew 22:1-14; Revelation 19:6-9). Jesus seemed to be warning his fellow dinner guests that their striving for a place of honor at God’s table was a projection of their airbrushed image of themselves.
There are always more “distinguished” guests who have been invited, and you don’t want the embarrassment of being bumped to the other end of the table. Instead, the person who is real and honest with himself or herself will choose the lowest place and let the host set the agenda for who sits where. It’s the host, in this case God, who determines our status, for it is God who sees the real person behind the altered public veneer. “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
The second parable Jesus tells is directed at the host and, if we connect the two parables, Jesus seems to be defining who the more “distinguished” guests are who should have prominent places at the table. “When you hold a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors,” says Jesus. To do so was expected as part of a social transaction — you invite them and they have to invite you.
It’s the same kind of social contract we expect to execute in the selfie world — you click “like” on someone else’s fake portrait or news about themselves and you expect them to like your altered life as well. But Jesus urges the host, as he urges us, to instead elevate those who cannot reciprocate and to engage with those to whom our dysmorphic self-images don’t matter. It’s in relationship to the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind that our real self-image comes into focus. We learn that while we may not be in dire economic or physical circumstances, we too are poor, crippled, lame and blinded by self-interest and self-indulgence.
Our smartphone cameras have a toggle icon. Tap it and it switches from selfie view to world view. The image you see is either of yourself, or that which is beyond yourself.
Jesus wants us to toggle our lens so that what we see is everything beyond ourselves. When we turn from staring at ourselves to serving others we begin to get a good sense that God gives “likes” to those who are humble, honest and authentic about themselves and in their relationships to others. “blessed indeed will you be” in inviting them, says Jesus, “blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
Many people suffering from Snapchat dysmorphia focus their whole lives on impressing their friends to the detriment of their own bodies and souls. Jesus reminds us that the most impressive people in God’s kingdom are those who take the humble position, who turn the focus away from self to others, and whose sole purpose is a soul and a life that is pleasing to God. It’s not about presenting a pious image but caring only about turning the spotlight on the image of God in others and in ourselves.
What makes for beautiful in the kingdom of God is humility, service and love for others. And what makes it even better is that no surgery required!
Let us pray. (Today in lieu of the normal responsorial prayers, I have a special one devoted to Labor day that I found online and I would like to share it with you.)
Good and gracious God, you told us from the very beginning that we would earn our bread by the sweat of our brow. We are interdependent in our laboring, Lord. We depend on the migrant workers who pick our lettuce and our strawberries, the nurses’ aides who empty bed pans, the teachers who form our children’s minds.
We thank you, Lord, for the gifts and talents you have given us that allow us to earn a living and contribute something positive to our world. We pray, dear Lord, for those who are without work. Sustain them — us — in your love. Help us to realize that we have worth as human beings, job or no job.
But that’s hard to get, Lord. Our society preaches to us that our worth comes from success. But our worth comes because you made us. We are your children, no matter what, job or no job. You love us and you call us to love and support each other. We pray for those who do the dirty work in our lives, those who break their backs for us, those who are cheated out of even a minimum wage, those who do not have to health care, those who cannot afford to send their kids to college.
Help us to bind together, Lord, as a community, as a nation because we depend on one another — the garbage collectors, the police, the stock people in our grocery stores, the truck drivers, the pilots, the 7-Eleven clerks, the ticket-takers on the turnpike, the plumbers, the accountants, the bank tellers, the landscapers, the lifeguards, those who clean our houses, the cooks, the waiters, the steel workers, the carpenters, the scientists and the writers.
Help us to realize this weekend how dependent we are on one another, Lord. We are one. We are family. We need each other. Let us give thanks for each other this Labor Day weekend. Help us to celebrate and give thanks for each other and appreciate the value, the dignity, the contribution that each one makes to keep our country, our cities, our lives going. And in tough times, help us remember the words of Jesus: Come to me all you who labor and are heavily burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, for my yoke is easy and my burden light (Matthew 11:28).
(Closing prayer is thanks to and adapted from Bob Traupman, and Xavier University’s website.
We must also keep in mind the victims, family and friends from yet another mass shooting in Odessa Texas. For the members of Temple Emanu-El in Del Cerro and the hate crime shooting, and the people in the path of hurricane Dorian. May our Lord grant all peace, love, comfort and desperately needed help. Amen.
God Love You +++
++ The Most Rev. Robert Winzens
Pastor – St. Francis Chapel
San Diego, CA