Bishop Calvo celebrated Mass at our Cathedral in Reno Nevada this Third Sunday of Advent. In his homily, he discussed the Pope’s strong desire for this to be the year of evangelization, from the Greek, “Eu” “Angel,” or the “Good Message.” In Matthew, the “Good News” started with one person, Joseph. At the birth of Jesus, were Jesus, the three wise men, Joseph, and Our Blessed Virgin. Add John the Baptist and the twelve apostles. At the death of Jesus, only our Blessed Virgin remains.
At Pentecost, there is Our Blessed Virgin, 11 of the apostles, and 3,000 called at Pentecost. Acts 2:41 Jesus added St. Paul who started converting the Roman Empire. After the Roman Empire came Europe and the New World. In modern times, the push is into Africa and Asia.
Our Bishop at our Cathedral informed us that our Pope is now pushing a new kind of evangelism. In the past, the goal was to convert people not knowing Christ. In our new evangelism, we convert the baptized. We convert the people who look at our faith and find something wanting. It was said during the Reagan/Mondale debates that the choice was between one man, President Reagan, who had a faith with much feeling but no content, and Senator Mondale, the son of a Methodist minister, a man whose faith had much content, but not much feeling. Neither was, or is satisfactory.
We need to convert people who come to Mass every Sunday and every day. We also need to convert the Protestants, people who have much feeling, but no real content. They quote chapter and verse; they have much content in words devoid of meaning. As Catholics, we also find that applies to us.
For Catholics, we find the basis of our faith in the Eucharist. “Another year over, and what do you see Part 2” correctly points out that in our Eucharist we can see a piece of bread and a chalice of wine, the body and blood, or the body and blood of Jesus Christ, a person, the Godhead, with feelings, thoughts, and ideals. In our Eucharist, we become a community, bound to help one another and give one another hope. Our word “Mass,” comes from the Latin phrase, “Mitte Est,” meaning departure. We take our faith out into the world, bringing hope into the world. Our faith, in a very real way, binds us to the Hebrew song, Hatikvah” הַתִּקְוָה, from “תִּקְוָה” hope. We ingest hope through the Eucharist, with the body and blood of Jesus Christ, we give it to each other as community, and then we bring it out into the world.
Our Bishop ended by pointing out our hope, “לשנה הבאה בירושלים” “Bee Shennah Hah Ba, bee Jerusalem,” “Next year in Jerusalem.” If we work to bring hope to the world, Jerusalem, the City of Peace, can be Reno Nevada, where there is hope for all people. In our Catholic faith in Reno Nevada, if only one person suffers, we suffer with them.
Every year 5,000 workers die because of industrial accidents in the United States, with 1,238,500 injuries.
One political party pushes deregulation for the sake of deregulation, promoting a culture of death. This is in spite of the the Monongah Mine Disaster of December 6, 1907, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of March 25, 1911, the Titanic Disaster of 15 April 1912, The Hamlet fire of September 3, 1991, the Deep Water Horizon Disaster of April 20, 2010, 8 miners killed during the Clinton Administration, 42 miners killed during the Bush Jr. years, and the 29 miners killed last year. The political party of the culture of death apologized to those guilty of the Deep Water Horizon Disaster for the imposition of regulations to prevent a similar accident from happening again. Their response to the Katrina Disaster was to cut spending for infrastructure.
Two thousand died during the Katrina disaster because a political party promoting a culture of death opposed spending for infrastructure, 50.2 million people live in food-insecure households, including 17.2 million children. Some 45,000 people die each year because they cannot afford health insurance. Eight thousand children die in the first year of life for the same reason, half pre-born. In 1969, the poorest 50% of the population brought home 27% of all income.
The richest 5% took home 15.6%, and the richest 20% carried home 40.6% of income. Today the figures are, 19.06% for the poorest 50%, 21.3% for the richest 5%, and 50.2% for the richest 20% of the population. With the poorest 50%, only bringing home 19.06% of all income there is insufficient demand to create jobs resulting in an 8% unemployment rate. In 1969, the unemployment rate was 3.5%.
To these suffering people we come with hope, a hope found in our faith and our morality that comes from the Great Commandment, Mark 12 and Deuteronomy 6:4-9. “Here Israel, The Personal Name is Almighty, The Personal Name is One. Love the Personal Name with all your hearts, with all your animate being, and with all of your measure.”
How do we love God? What do we give someone who already has everything, literally? We love and respect what is his. What is his? His universe, his planet, the life forms he put on his planet, and most important, what is made in his image, each other. We use all of our measure. That includes our patriotism, our wealth, our strength, our intellect, our culture, our vote. Humanae Vitae tells us it is unlawful to do evil in the hopes good may come from it. Evil is what is rotten, what is less that fulfilling the mandate of the Great Commandment. Evil is allowing the above figures to remain true. Our Bishop at our Franciscan Cathedral concluded, we need to bring real hope to the world. This is our Evangelism. As our Blessed St. Francis said, “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”