The day after the last presidential candidate debate, on Friday, Oct. 21st, both candidates were guests of Timothy Cardinal Dolan, our metropolitan archbishop, present for the 71 Annual Al Smith Foundation Dinner in New York. This year’s dinner raised an unprecedented six million dollars for Catholic Charities efforts working with children in New York. Many Catholics criticized Cardinal Dolan for even inviting Hilary Clinton to the stage because of her openly pro-choice political stance. Cardinal Dolan answered his critics by saying: “You have to keep the lines of communication open.” It reminds me of the saying: “Keep your enemies close and your adversaries closer.” In the Gospel text of St. Luke, chapter 19 assigned for this weekend’s Liturgy, Jesus, in a similar way, notices Zacchaeus and calls him down from his perched seat in a nearby tree. “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house” Luke 19:5. The crowd too began to complain to one another, “He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner” Luke 19:7. Tax collectors were oftentimes fellow Jews who worked for the Roman Government and made their great wealth by cheating their countrymen. The attention that Jesus showed to Zacchaeus paid off in Zacchaeus’ conversion of heart. Jesus answers his critics by saying: “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost” Luke 19:10. How can anyone be saved if we’re never in their company; if we never offer them reasoned alternatives? In this way all Christians are not called to flee those that disagree with them but engage them in civil dialogue always keeping the lines of communication open; seeking to achieve some measurable common ground. In this tumultuous time of election politics, let us resist the temptation to demonize those with whom we disagree. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. taught us that a person is much more as a human being than their opinions about some matter or another. For even our enemies are human beings worth our time and energy to convert from our adversary to our friend and colleague.
CONFIRMATION AT ST. MARTIN DE PORRES will take place on Sunday, November 6th; the day St. Martin Parish will also hold their Patron Saint’s Feast Day. Bishop Malone will be present for the 9:30AM Mass. Both Fr. Daniel and Fr. Ron will be present to support the parish and candidates to be confirmed. Candidates from Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary who have a conflict with their later Confirmation Date have been invited to attend.
CONFIRMATION CANDIDATES FROM ST. LAWRENCE will join with Nativity Parish Candidates on Sunday, November 20th as we welcome Bishop Malone at the special 2:00PM mass time. We pray for all our Confirmation Candidates asking God’s Spirit to strengthen them be we witnesses of God’s Kingdom among us.