Dear Parishioners and Visitors,
"God is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to Him all are alive." This final sentence in today's Gospel passage from the evangelist Luke, and, Jesus' words throughout the passage assure us of the resurrection of the dead. We can take comfort from His words, especially if we cooperate with Jesus' firm intention to give life in whatever circumstance in which He found Himself.
Growing up in Northern Kentucky, I was usually collecting variously tan-, red-, and orange-colored box turtles in the summer and autumn. I'd dig a square hole about a foot deep in the ground, place rocks around it and place water for the turtles and then keep them for a few days. Of course, the turtles would find a way to escape; however, while they were there I'd feed them live 'June Bugs· which were brightly colored large flying beetle bugs with shiny green-blue backs. The turtles ate them hungrily as they crunched down on the unsuspecting creatures. As a boy I didn't think it was such a bad idea to help Mother Nature out a tad by providing these tasty beetle bugs for the turtles' sustenance. While I don't collect turtles in the backyard or garden any longer or feed them with June Bugs, I do love God's bountiful creation in all of its jaw-dropping outrageous variety and wonder.
For us as Catholic Christians, God's creation is to be respected, delighted in, and used for the good. Where we fail most seriously at times is in maltreatment and disrespect for other human beings or even against ourselves. Human life is so very sacred and it is to be protected all along the way. Last week I flew on a day trip to New Orleans for a meeting at our Southern Dominican offices, and, while walking to the gate inside the airport I slipped and fell forward onto a damp floor. Instantly, there were at least 5 or 6 people around me helping me stand back up and asking if I was OK. Not an historic event to be sure; nonetheless, I was unscathed and also reminded of how such thoughtfulness and willingness to assist is alive and well in we humans. It might be hidden sometimes, yet it's there. Moreover, I am increasingly aware of the gift of all life and that the Author of Life Himself is indeed pleased when we promote another life, protect another life, including loving/ forgiving our enemies. Our love now in the Aesh here on earth will significantly determine the kind of life we inherit all by God's grace working in us. God's loving grace is not dormant or deceased; it is alive and well and ever pushing, pulling, driving us to give, provide for, and otherwise nurture all of life. May our response to God's grace in life be extravagant and uncompromising.
In God's loving kindness,
-fr. Chris, O.P.