1) When Jesus said, “Love your enemies.” He really meant it. Love those people who do not believe as you do, who hurt and persecute you and others. Love does not condone evil, but on the contrary, love endeavors to free someone from the evil in their hearts and lives. We can’t do that with hate in our own hearts.
2) Therefore it is our first duty to carefully examine our own lives and purge our minds and hearts from all evil – asking for God’s grace to do this.
3) Mary, the Mother of God, is represented to us in different forms: Our Mother of Perpetual Help, Our Sorrowful Mother, Our Lady of Guadalupe and, as the we saw today, Our Lady of Czestochowa (The Black Madonna). She comes to us not to be worshipped but to direct us to her Son so we can be healed of our own sin and woundedness.
4) We can do 4 things to grow in our faith and make the world a better place: Invite, Study, Pray & Serve
Basically we evangelize best when the invitation is sincere and personal. We need to be willing to invite people into our lives, our homes, our communities, and our churches.
We need to know our faith and the two best sources for understanding the Catholic faith are the bible with Catholic commentaries, and The Catechism of the Catholic Faith.
We need to be a part of the Mass by actually praying our way through it and actively and consistently attending Mass and availing ourselves of the sacraments available to us – especially the Eucharist and Confession. Confession is an opportunity to free ourselves from the grip of sin and self destruction.
Service means being involved in the needs of our community and our church. There are many ways of doing this. Look around and see what is available.
Thank you, Bishop Paprocki, for once again being a genuine source of inspiration and witnessing the hope & joy of our faith. May God bless all you do.