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Father Muench Says...

Bringing a spirit of peace to the world

Oct. 11, 2017

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

I would like to take this opportunity to offer my congratulations to our new deacons, ordained by Bishop LaVallee last week.  Our diocese is stronger today because we have sixteen new deacons. 

All of our deacons bring unique gifts and talents to their parishes and to our diocese.  They truly enrich the ministry of the Diocese of Ogdensburg.  We, all, should be very grateful as a diocese that these men have followed their vocation to be ordained deacons. 

Our deacons are a special part of this diocesan family.
Recently, we have again experienced the violence of our country.  This was made very evident to us with the incident in Las Vegas.  Our country is again torn apart by the action of one gunman.  This will produce many debates among our country’s leaders.  However, little has changed since the last incident.  Our question will continue:– how do we live in this violent world as Christians?

I believe in the message of the humble, loving Jesus.  I believe that Jesus made our world a better place by bringing to us his message of peace and love.  As his disciples Jesus leads us to be a loving and caring people. I know that many consider violence as the only answer to violence.  However, I know only too well that when I personally react with anger and violence in my life, nothing good comes about for myself or for anyone else.

Many bring up the question of safety.  Does being a follower of Jesus make me a safer person?  What I do know is that living like Jesus brings a certain happiness, a definite satisfaction as I try to bring peace to others.
I believe that bringing peace into my way of life unites others to act peacefully.  I pray that with God’s help I may bring to others that spirit of Jesus to make our world more peaceful and less violent. 

The past few weeks the second Scripture readings as Mass have been from St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians.  St. Paul gives us some guidance toward bringing our world to a spirit of love and peace.

Here, St. Paul writes to these Philippians reminding them who Jesus is.  Paul shows us that Jesus emptied himself – “though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped.

Jesus entered our world “coming in human likeness – and found in human appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”  Jesus met the violence of our world with humility.  Jesus accepted the cross – and became our Lord and Savior.

In his meekness, Jesus wins our love and adoration.  Jesus showed us there was a better way to live.

In this Spirit of our Lord, St. Paul shows us how to make our world a better place. “Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory,” he writes, “rather humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interest, but also for those of others.”

In this way, we will bring a loving spirit to our life.  Can you imagine a world like this?

The news reports were filled with the man who tried to help others during this recent incident.  Despite the danger and the violence many rushed to help others, reaching out to the injured in need of help.  They were unafraid in their concern for others despite the violence on all sides of them.

St. Paul tells us in this letter, “Have no anxiety.”  He tells us to turn to our God in prayer, never giving up.  We are to offer our prayers in thanksgiving remembering God great love for us.  Anxiety is rooted in a lack of trust – a lack of trust in ourselves, in others, in God.  Anxiety must never keep us from being a people of peace, never losing trust.

St. Paul closes this Letter in prayer: “My God will fully supply whatever you need, in accord with his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.  To our God and Father, glory forever and ever.  Amen.” 

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