THE NATURE OF THINGS
To return to our previous discussion, we were talking about how almost all of the teachings of the Church that our contemporary culture finds difficult can be rooted in our belief in the inherent dignity of every human person and that you and I are happy only by a sincere gift of ourselves so that others can live.
Think of the issues surrounding life. The dignity of each and every human life dictates that all human life must be treated in a certain way. It is because of this value of every life that we will always speak out especially on behalf of those whose voice goes unheard. Those voices on behalf of whom the Church speaks are for sure the poor and the hungry. Mission Sunday comes to mind. We think of the little ones from the Gospel – those to whom Christ referred when he said, “What you do to one of these least ones, you do to me.” We feed the hungry – whether they are without food or even if they cannot eat on their own. So we think here of both those who are starving because there is not enough available to them and those who, because of some condition or trauma, require feeding tubes.
Other voices on behalf of whom the Church speaks are others who are included as one of these least ones, namely, the terminally ill or the aged. Because of the great dignity we have, we are not the kind of thing, even if we wanted it, that can be “put down” – even to alleviate suffering, which is a good desire, or because of a lower quality of life, which seems inevitable. We are worth too much, and even our suffering is not worthless. Our example and standard here is Christ – by whose suffering we are all redeemed even in our own suffering.
Keep in mind that you and I find our purpose in a generous offering of ourselves so that others can live. I have met people whose heroic and patient bearing of very serious crosses allow God’s grace to shine in spite of weakness and inspire all those around them to bear their own much smaller crosses with patience, gratitude and even joy. Through their sincere gift of themselves, they help me and you to live.
Last Week’s Homily Suggestion: Although I mentioned it only in 2 of the 4 homilies: try doing something nice for someone this week without them noticing and without keeping score, so to speak, in your own mind. Also, something I did mention in all of the homilies: Register for “Formed” and take advantage of Catholic Netflix by following the following instructions.
- Go to formed.org Scroll down to “For Individuals”, and in the box for the parish code enter: WPK4JB Click “Submit Code”
- Fill in the requested information in order to create a profile (this allows us to see who has registered and the value that we are getting from it)
- The next page is “purchase” or “subscription”, simply click “I’ve entered my parish code – take me to Formed”. The access is FREE for you
End of Life issues / Advance Directives from a Catholic Perspective: I would like to draw attention to something that the Catholic Medical Association is offering for EVERYONE. Mass, dinner, and a talk on how to approach Advance Directives from a Catholic Perspective. If we haven’t thought of these things, questions about care at the end of life can be overwhelming. There are principles which we can apply to decide what care we need and what care is beyond what we need and so can be chosen or not. One way to know the difference is to be educated, and one way to be educated is to attend this event on November 5 at 5:30 pm in Altoona. If you have named a power of attorney, or if you are a power of attorney for a loved one, this meeting would be especially beneficial to informing you. There is a $15 fee. Please email Mary.Bliss@hshs.org or call Sharon at 715-835-1012 to register.
Adult Faith Formation and Men’s Group continue at their usual times.