THE THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
President Donald Trump declared January 16 as “Religious Freedom Day” in the United States. In his declaration President Trump said the following “Faith is embedded in the history, spirit, and soul of our Nation. On Religious Freedom Day, we celebrate the many faiths that make up our country,” Trump said. “Our Constitution and laws guarantee Americans the right not just to believe as they see fit, but to freely exercise their religion.”
Growing up in Lemmon, SD in the 1950’s & 60’s I would have never thought of the need to declare a “Religious Freedom Day” in the United States as a necessary action. However, the world has changed as have the people who inhabit our world today.
Archbishop Charles Chaput, Archbishop of Philadelphia, spoke in March 2016 at Brigham Young University on religious freedom and said this “People who believe in a loving God are always a people of hope and the joy that comes with it.” He further states, “We need to wake each other up to see the world and our nation as they really are, the good along with the evil. We need to support each other in the work for religious freedom we share. We need to treat each other as friends, not enemies or strangers…it’s important for our own integrity and the integrity of our country to fight for our convictions in the public square. The greater task is to live by what we believe, by our actions, fidelity to God, love of spouse and children, loyalty to friends, generosity to the poor, honesty and mercy in dealing with others, trust in the goodness of people, discipline and humility in demanding the most from ourselves.”
Pray this week for a greater understanding of religious freedom and that each of us can bear witness to a loving God and share our hope and joy with those around us.
P.S. On Sunday, January 21st, Deacon Jerry Wathen, now retired from active ministry, celebrates 34 years of ordained ministry. Deacon Jerry served St Lambert parish for 25 years before retiring. Thanks Deacon Jerry and thanks to his wife Dorothy for her support.