Homily for Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Readings for Today

It may not seem this way, but we live in an age of martyrs. People all over the world, but especially in the Middle East and in Africa are being killed simply because they are Christians. Speaking to the Shalom Community who sponsored a relay to raise awareness of the terrible persecution of Christians, the pope said this:

“Your itinerary on the streets is over, but what must continue on the part of all is the spiritual journey of prayer, intense prayer; the concrete participation and  tangible help in the defense and protection of our brothers and sisters, who are persecuted, exiled, killed, beheaded, for the only reason of being a Christian.”

There are the attacks by Boko Haram, by ISIS, by other extemist Muslims who are killing Christians. It used to be that persecution needed to be imagined, but today, we see it on an almost daily basis. Even in our own country, I have heard from people who feel a sense of persecution because of their faith. Talking with those in the science profession, I know many who calculate carefully sharing their personal faith, since many view faith and science as incompatible.

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The Passing of a Cardinal

On Friday morning, April 17, Francis Cardinal George, o.m.i., went to his eternal reward. Much will be said about his life in the days ahead, as the Church in Chicago provides the rich services that surround death, and the hope of eternal life. With the death of such a prominent figure of Church life in America, many will write about what they remember and recall. News stories will discuss his successes and failures as a leader. There will be statements made by Church leaders, political leaders and others.

But the passing of any person usually leads to the telling of stories, and I would like to take this occasion to tell of my experiences with Cardinal George, as limited as they were.I will leave the details somewhat vague, since they are really not very important. Suffice to say that I found myself, during my time as president of Fenwick High School in a situation that required a conversation with Cardinal George.

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